Yorkshire Water has become the fifth company in England and Wales to announce a hosepipe ban as Britons continue to swelter through hot and dry conditions.
The company, which has more than five million customers, made the announcement early on Friday, with the restrictions coming into effect from August 26.
Yorkshire Water’s director of water Neil Dewis said the prolonged heatwave conditions blasting the nation left the company with little other choice.
“Parts of Yorkshire have seen the lowest rainfall since our records began more than 130 years ago,” he said.
“The hot, dry, weather means that Yorkshire’s rivers are running low and our reservoirs are around 20% lower than we would expect for this time of year. We’ve been doing everything we can to avoid putting in restrictions but, unfortunately, they’re now necessary as part of our drought planning.
“We’ve been monitoring reservoir levels, weather forecasts and other environmental indicators closely to determine whether we might need to put further measures in place.
“As we’ve now reached that trigger point, we need to make sure that we have enough supply for the essential needs of people across the region this year and next, as well as making sure we’re able to protect our local environment by limiting the amount of water we have to draw from the rivers.
“Our decision to introduce a hosepipe ban is based on the risk that water stocks continue to fall in the coming weeks and the need to be cautious about clean water supplies and long-term river health.”
Under the restrictions, customers are banned from using a hosepipe to water their gardens, clean their vehicles, fill their swimming pools or clean their homes.
However, they are still permitted to complete those activities with tap water from a bucket or watering can, or using water that is not sourced from taps.
Businesses will only be allowed to use a hosepipe if it is directly related to a commercial purpose.
Thames Water, Welsh Water (Dwr Cymru), Southern Water and South East Water all previously signalled hosepipe bans would be necessary while the Wildlife Trusts have called for an England-wide hosepipe ban to protect nature and rivers.
Mr Dewis thanked customers for their efforts in conserving water usage.
“We’re grateful to our customers, who have been saving water where they can this summer,” he said.
“It is really important that we all continue to do so, to help protect our water resources and the environment.”
It comes as a drought is expected to be declared for some parts of England on Friday.