Three companies lift drought orders

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Three water companies (Thames, Southern and Anglian) have today announced that they are lifting their temporary restrictions that saw a ban on the use of hosepipes introduced from April 5 2012.

Thames Water, Britain's biggest water company, said that it was lifting its hosepipe ban tomorrow (0001 Thursday) after "an extraordinary amount of rain eased the severity of the water shortage in the South and East."

Their press release continued: "Thames Water said "a heartfelt thank you" to the 8.8m people it supplies across London and the Thames Valley for complying with the Temporary Use Ban, helping save more than 100 million litres a day during the hot spell in May.

"Hosepipe bans were imposed on April 5 by Thames Water and six other firms following the driest two-year period on record. But within hours the heavens opened and stayed open, delivering more than two-and-a-half times the average rainfall in April, steady showers in May and further monsoon-style downpours so far in June with more forecast."

Southern Water said it was "lifting water restrictions in its Sussex and Kent water supply areas." Full details of their press release can be read here - www.southernwater.co.uk/News

The hosepipe ban affecting Anglian Water customers will be lifted tomorrow. Paul Valleley, Anglian Water’s Director of Water Services, said: "I am delighted that we are able to make this announcement. It was never our intention to keep these restrictions in place a moment longer than necessary. When we introduced the ban back on April 5, we had just been through the driest year on record and gone two winters without the rainfall needed to recharge reservoirs and aquifers. We were heading into the summer with reserves well below normal.

"Almost from the moment we announced the ban it started raining and April turned out to be the wettest in our 113-year records. There’s no way we could have predicted it, but in some places we had three times the average rainfall in April. Crucially, it fell just within the traditional ‘recharge’ season - the time of the year when there is less competition for water from the environment, and much of what falls ends up in reservoirs and aquifers.

"Effectively, we had three months worth of ‘winter rain’ in April. This was followed by a wet and cool May and June. The persistent rain and low temperatures have extended the recharge season into the early summer, and this has made all the difference.”

The full Anglian Water press release can be read - www.anglianwater.co.uk

However, Veolia Water Central, Veolia South East, Sutton and East Surrey Water, and South East Water are not lifting their Temporary Use Bans at this stage.

Full details of their ongoing restrictions can be found on their websites:

For further information see also the Water UK statement from June 7 - Water UK responds to 'Drought Prospects 2012' – Goodwill, co-operation and rainfall, a powerful combination - www.water.org.uk/home/news