Yorkshire hose ban goes into effect amid plummeting reservoir levels

Yorkshire hose ban goes into effect amid plummeting reservoir levels


Restrictions prevent activities such as watering the garden, cleaning the car or hosing a kiddie pool.

A hose ban affecting around five million people in Yorkshire has taken effect.

Yorkshire Water said the ban was the first imposed in 27 years and was necessary due to a significant decline in reservoir levels.

The municipality also recorded below-average long-term rainfall for the fifth consecutive month in July, according to the Environment Agency (EA).

Anyone breaking the temporary ban could face a fine of up to £1,000.

Similar measures were implemented by other water companies, including London and the Thames Valley, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and Kent and Sussex after the driest July since 1935.

Yorkshire Water said it did all it could to avoid imposing restrictions, but it became necessary after reservoir levels dropped below 50% for the first time since the 1995 drought.

Map showing areas with a hose ban

Map showing areas with a hose ban

Neil Dewis, the company’s water director, said: “We need to ensure that we have enough supply for the essential needs of people across the region this year and next, as well as ensuring that we can protect our local environment by limiting the amount of water available. that we have to remove from the rivers.

“Having a hose ban also allows us to apply for drought permits from the Environment Agency, which means we can extract more water from our rivers and reduce flows from our reservoirs so we can continue to provide the water our customers depend on. us to”.

Analysis: Paul Hudson, BBC Yorkshire climate correspondent

Although some parts of the country have experienced heavy rain in the last 24 hours, very little has fallen in Yorkshire.

With less than a week to go until the meteorological summer, less than 50% of the expected rainfall has been recorded across the county – after an exceptionally dry spring.

As a consequence, average reservoir levels continue to fall – with the latest value now below 45%.

So Yorkshire Water hopes that the hose ban will reduce customer demand.

But it is also a technical step that will allow the company to turn to the Environment Agency to extract more water from some of our rivers.

Water is already, for example, pumped out of the River Ouse and piped into the Eccup Reservoir in West Yorkshire, which supplies drinking water to Leeds.

As a result of the hose ban, they can now order more.

Good thing, with drier weather expected as we head into late August and early September.

EA officially moved Yorkshire to dry state on 16 August, a decision based on low river flows, groundwater and reservoir levels.

The measure does not automatically trigger action, but allows the agency and water companies to increase efforts to manage the impact.

Aerial view of low water levels at Baitings Reservoir, Ripponden, West Yorkshire, England, Great Britain

Yorkshire Water said reservoir levels, like here at the Baitings Reservoir in West Yorkshire, had dropped below 50%.

The hose ban applies to customers in West, South and East Yorkshire, most of North Yorkshire, part of North Lincolnshire and parts of Derbyshire

The restriction prevents activities such as watering the garden, cleaning the car or hosing a kiddie pool – the full list of prohibited activities can be found here.

Police forces have already asked people not to report violations of the ban, noting that the measure is a “civil matter” and not a “criminal”.

Yorkshire Water said it hoped people would respect the rules and thanked customers for heeding past requests to reduce the amount of water they were using.

He also said he has increased the number of crews working to fix leaks, after confirming that, on average, he lost more than 28 million liters of water a day.

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