That’s according to the Green Party which said that the current water restrictions demonstrate an urgent need for better water management by companies, as well as for climate change issues to be addressed.

It also called for water companies to tackle leaks, which it says will save water, reduce costs and provide thousands of jobs.

Green Party environment spokesperson Penny Kemp,, said: “Climate change and an ever-growing population put bigger demands on our system every day, yet there has been no effective action on water loss since privatisation.

“However the onus must fall on the water companies to deal with leakages, give higher priority to water recycling and ensure that water utilities are brought unto the core of the planning regime, preventing new developments from placing more pressure on our finite water resources.”

Despite above average rainfall for April, Thames Water said that it wasn’t enough to refill aquifers in the south east and end the drought as the region’s rivers and groundwater levels remain seriously low, with the ground acting like a sponge.

Thames Water external affairs and sustainability director Richard Aylard, said:”The irony has not escaped us, we know there’s been a lot of rain since we announced the hosepipe ban, and we understand why people are talking about ‘the wettest drought ever’. But – seriously – a couple of wet weeks are not going to fix the problem.”

However, Thames Water added that while the extra rain this month will help make up for shortfall in March that winter rainfall is needed to recharge groundwater levels completely.

Figures from Thames Water reveal that river levels in Berkshire, Surrey and South East London remain exceptionally low, with the rainfall deficit reducing by just 4.4% following the recent rains.

Carys Matthews

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