Will first hosepipe ban open torrent of water restrictions?
United Utilities has become the first water company to introduce a hosepipe ban this summer.
It cites some of the driest weather for years in a move that has sparked fears of more restrictions in the pipeline for the UK.
The ban is in place across the north west barring parts of the Lake District.
Water watchdog, the Consumer Council for Water, has said it accepts that the ban was needed and that the majority of the public is happy to see restrictions in place so long as the water companies have taken steps to manage supplies such as plugging leaks.
Chairman of the council’s northern committee, Andrea Cook, said: “Consumers are concerned about their water environment and accept the need to conserve water.
“Indeed, four out of five consumers tell us they are prepared to accept restrictions such as hosepipe bans – as long as water companies can demonstrate that they have done all they can to effectively manage water supplies.
“We have seen significant advances in companies meeting leakage targets and maintaining a good quality and consistent supply, but we expect companies to be particularly active on leakage at times of drought.
“We will be monitoring United Utilities closely to ensure that their consumers are being well-served and given as much information as possible during and after the hosepipe ban.”
Consumers can report any leaks on roads or footpaths to United Utilities on 0800 330033.