25 April 2023

Hosepipe ban extended to large parts of Devon

25 April 2023

A hosepipe ban has been extended across large parts of Devon.

South West Water, which introduced a ban in Cornwall and a small area of North Devon last August, made the decision to “replenish” depleted water supplies.

It said that, while water levels were recovering from last summer, they were under “immense and increasing pressure.”

The new ban, introduced on Tuesday, applies to the Roadford reservoir supply area, including Plymouth and Torquay.

Reservoir levels are recovering across Cornwall and Devon, but remain lower than this time last year

It prevents customers from using hosepipes and sprinklers to water grass, clean their cars or fill pools.

Last summer, a heatwave led to a drought in most of England, but Devon is one of only four regions, including Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly and East Anglia, which are yet to recover.

The ban comes after the National Drought Group warned in February that England is ‘one dry spell’ away from drought.

Rainfall from that month was the driest on record at only 6% of the 30-year normal level, according to experts.

In an announcement on their website, South West Water said: “Our region remains officially in drought and a ‘temporary use ban’ (known as a hosepipe ban) has been in place for Cornwall and a small part of North Devon since August 2022.

“To further ensure our reservoir levels recovery, and in accordance with our drought plan, we will be introducing a temporary use ban for customers within the Roadford supply area, this will affect customers throughout parts of north, west and mid-Devon from April 25.

“Reservoir levels are recovering across Cornwall and Devon, but remain lower than this time last year.

“As a result of the low reservoir levels, the hosepipe ban is necessary.

“We recognise and appreciate our customers’ efforts to reduce their daily water usage throughout this drought period.

“We ask that you continue saving water where you can, so that our water resources can recover sufficiently for the spring and summer ahead.”

South West Water’s drought and resilience director David Harris added: “Despite our interventions and investments, and the fantastic efforts of our customers, the region’s water resources are under immense and increasing pressure.

“Extending the hosepipe ban to parts of Devon is the responsible thing for us to do and going into the summer period is the right time to do it.”

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