The ban will come into force on Friday (July 9) at 6am and will cover the entire of the North West, apart from customers in Carlisle, Allerdale, Copeland and the north Eden Valley, where supplies are at what the firms says are ‘reasonable’ levels.

United Utilities water regulation and strategy manager, John Sanders, said: “Despite some recent rainfall in the north of the region, reservoir levels are still significantly lower than we would expect at this time of year and are now at a point where we need to impose some temporary restrictions on our customers.

“It is not a decision we have taken lightly, but a hosepipe can use as much water in an hour as a family of four would use in one day.

“This ban will help us to safeguard essential water supplies to our customers if the drought continues.”

Mr Sanders also called on customers to do ‘some simple things’ including turning off the tap while brushing teeth and running washing machines and dishwashers with a full load to help.

Luke Walsh

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