The region’s severe and prolonged drought could finally be felt across millions of domestic back yards, flower beds and allotments after Anglian Water confirmed its first hosepipe ban for 20 years.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

The ban will be implemented from April 5 as a result of desperately low water reserves following the driest 18-month period in more than a century.

Anglian Water (AW) is one of seven water companies preparing to bring in restrictions in the wake of two unusually dry winters which have left reservoirs, aquifers and rivers well below normal levels.

The terms of the temporary ban, which begins on the Thursday before the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, will prevent hosepipes being used for household activities including gardening, washing cars, cleaning windows and filling paddling pools.

Domestic customers will still be allowed to water their gardens if they use a watering can rather than a hose, and to clean their cars, provided they use a bucket.

Businesses and other commercial operations will not affected, and there will be a small number of domestic exemptions to protect jobs, livelihoods and the infirm.

But AW managing director Peter Simpson appealed to all the company’s 4.2 million customers to help save water, both at work and at home.

“This is the first time Anglian Water has imposed a hosepipe ban in more than 20 years, but we believe this is the most sensible and responsible action to take to help safeguard customer supplies for this year, next year and beyond,” he said.

“This is one of those times when everyone needs to pull together and help save water, as well as look out for relations, neighbours and friends who might struggle in some way – perhaps lifting a heavy watering can or bucket for example.

“We are not telling people to stop doing what they have to, but to adapt their behaviour to reflect the severity of the situation. The message is – do what you can.”

Mr Simpson said £14m had been spent during the winter to tackle leaks, with 24,000 leaks fixed since April 2011.

James Debbage, a former manager of Notcutts Garden Centre in Norwich who now runs Green Pastures Plant Centre and Farm Shop in Bergh Apton, near Poringland, said there were plenty of measures which gardeners could take during the ban.

“If we are not allowed to use hosepipes, people are going to have to adapt,” he said. “They might have to forego things they would normally grow, and plant things which like the hot and dry conditions, such as geraniums, gazanias or portulaca. It may mean growing more things in pots around the house, where you can reach them with a watering can.

“The vast majority of people will abide by the restrictions, but there will always be one or two who will flout it.”

Beyond the restrictions in domestic gardens and driveways, the restrictions could also affect the watering of public flower beds and charity car washes, like the ones regularly organised by Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service.

Mike McCarthy, deputy chief fire officer for Norfolk, said: “It would be a genuine shame if we had to stop our charity car washes as they are in support of the Fire Fighters Charity which is a very worthy cause. Having said that we understand as well as anyone what a valuable asset water is and why it must be conserved and will comply with any guidance or regulations as and when they are brought in.”

Janet Holdom organises the Fakenham in Bloom festival, which usually sees more than 100 planters and hanging baskets placed around the market town from June to September.

She said: “We don’t over-water the flowers – it is very controlled but it is done from a bowser. I have yet to find out exactly what the ban means, and whether our weekly limits would exceed the limits that AW are imposing. We would have to scrupulously adhere to those guidelines and until we know the specifics we don’t know whether we might not be able to go ahead this year.”

A spokesman for Broadland District Council said the authority would not be affected by the ban, as its staff do not water any gardens, parks or lawn areas.

“We have no areas with bedding plants,” she said. “The grounds maintenance only cuts grass and prunes shrubs and bushes.”

Across the country, it is estimated that up to 20 million homes face hosepipe bans in the coming weeks. Southern Water, South East Water, Thames Water, Sutton and East Surrey, Veolia Central and Veolia South East are also taking measures to preserve supplies in the parched South East and East Anglia regions.

Meanwhile Essex and Suffolk Water, which provides services to thousands of homes in South Norfolk and Suffolk, confirmed it has no immediate plans to issue a ban. But the company has not ruled out restrictions later in the year if the dry weather continues into the spring and summer.

23 comments

  • Surely as garage car wash uses more water than washing ones car with a hosepipe? How about also banning parks and golf courses from watering using a sprinkler system. As usual, the government is to blame.

    Report this comment

    Whiley Boy

    Tuesday, March 13, 2012

  • When are the morons in charge of our water supplies going to realise that the billions they waste on taking valuable land for reservoirs that may likely never get filled up is a complete wast of time money; money that could be far better spent on building desalination plants. We are, after all, a island nation surrounded by precious water. I guess the next step, once again, will be stand pipes for us to obtain our drinking water! It's time the so called bosses of the water authorities were kicked out for gross negligence and failure to do their jobs properly.

    Report this comment

    Sid

    Tuesday, March 13, 2012

  • Not allowed to clean windows?will window cleaners be on the dole?

    Report this comment

    bookworm

    Tuesday, March 13, 2012

  • When will we all realise we are a tiny island and only capable of sustaining a maximum number of inhabitants along with the necessary industry and commerce. Every time we build another house without extending reservoirs the time will come when we run out of food and water. Anglian Water are consulted when a new planning application is submitted for a new development on green field sites and I guess they greedily say yes we can handle the water and sewage.

    Report this comment

    E Hubbard

    Thursday, March 15, 2012

  • I have been in touch with AW and as I have a pond with fish in garden I am exempt from the ban; who knows I might accidently spray the spuds.

    Report this comment

    D. ROSS

    Tuesday, March 13, 2012

  • Cambridge Water Company, not subject to a hosepipe ban, abstracts from within 2 miles of Thetford, how is this fair?

    Report this comment

    Robert Kybird

    Tuesday, March 13, 2012

  • "No it doesn't actually. Car washes recycle the used water with very little loss" - I've just Googled "How does a car wash work" and indeed it does use a fresh source each wash and consumes more water than cleaning a vehicle at home. Also, with an added cost. Regards, Whiley.

    Report this comment

    Whiley Boy

    Tuesday, March 13, 2012

  • I hate to keep saying it but the answer is to have a Regional Strategy under one umbrella and operate a National Strategy that way to address as a society what we need to do to survive as human beings in this part of the UK.This has to remove the profit motive which is distorting priorities and leads to cartels being in operation.Then the message might be we all have to change our ways-we really all are in this together when it comes to water shortages.

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Tuesday, March 13, 2012

  • chebram71's point about the effects of building the huge number of new houses planned in the region is a very important one. Very little thought seems to go into obvious things like transport, schools and shops for these developments. the most basic need, for water, seems to have been entirely overlooked.

    Report this comment

    point du jour

    Tuesday, March 13, 2012

  • I am sure I heard the silly man from Anglian Water say that 20 percent of our water is lost to leaks, and then claim that was 'good'! David Press has a letter in todays Lynn News, he is an industrial chemist and very clever man, he has stated that the incinerator will use 228,000,000 litres of mains water per year! MBT + AD will use hardly any by comparison. Do all our pro incinerator neighbours across the county still think an incinerator is a good idea, they may feel less happy when they cant use the water they have paid for as they wish but Cory Wheelabrator will use that mains water to dampen down mountains of ash!!!

    Report this comment

    Joy, King's Lynn

    Tuesday, March 13, 2012

  • So Anglia water charge me a small fortune for the privilege of a water supply,then turn round and say you can't water your plants with it. Well if you are surrounded by hostile neighbours itching to report you for using a hosepipe,you tend to be careful especially when anonymous letters arrive through the post threatening to drop you in it.and the ban hasn't started yet! It's down to the water companies to get their act together,the amount they charge makes it more cost efficient to water plants with bottled water!

    Report this comment

    Harry Rabinowitz

    Tuesday, March 13, 2012

  • "Surely as garage car wash uses more water than washing ones car with a hosepipe?" No it doesn't actually. Car washes recycle the used water with very little loss

    Report this comment

    Brian the Snail

    Tuesday, March 13, 2012

  • So as there is a water shortage the Government wants more home to be built in this region. Great more people to use the same amount of water which is getting less and less. Oh yeah such a good plan NOT !

    Report this comment

    chebram71

    Tuesday, March 13, 2012

  • Did any politician wonder what millions of extra water users would do to our supplies? No, I doubt it. They don't plan or think beyond their next tax funded pension payment

    Report this comment

    weaversway

    Tuesday, March 13, 2012

  • Should Anglian water have a word with Essex users?, who get much of their supplies from the river Ouse, no wonder they are not bothered about a ban yet. 280 million litres to cool processes at the incinerator, approved by NCC, add to that yesterdays clarion call for 30.000 houses each year, here in the east. News that carried no message from Anglian water, so how many more conflicting messages will we be presented with before the bills go up some more? Good point about car washes using more water than homely carwashes undertaken with a watering can, whiley boy.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Tuesday, March 13, 2012

  • Oh and to clarify, I was referring to the self service car wash not those god awful, paint ruining automated ones. Regards, Whiley.

    Report this comment

    Whiley Boy

    Tuesday, March 13, 2012

  • As long as the water ban doesn't prevent my dear old mum from having her cups of tea, she will be fine. We're hoping that the ban will have passed before the summer, as it would be a shame not to get the inflatable pool out for the dogs to splash around in, as it's a highlight of the summer for her.

    Report this comment

    Whiley Boy

    Tuesday, March 13, 2012

  • Robert Kybird: Cambridge Water's website claims that "In total, 95 per cent of the water supplied by Cambridge Water comes from boreholes drilled into the chalk strata south of Cambridge. The remaining five per cent comes from a greensand source to the west of our area which feeds Gamlingay and the surrounding villages." Do they also abstract in the Thetford area?

    Report this comment

    point du jour

    Tuesday, March 13, 2012

  • I really don't understand why we need a hosepipe ban in Norfolk when a director of Essex & Suffolk Water was on the TV a couple of weeks ago saying that they would fill the enlarged Abberton Reservoir in Essex by piping water from Norfolk which had plenty to spare! The irony is that Essex & Suffolk Water say that they have no plans at present to impose a hosepipe ban in their own area! It sounds like Anglia Water are selling our water to Essex & Suffolk and adopting an equal misery policy across their whole region regardless of whether there is a local need for it or not. By the way as businesses are exempt I assume that we will have the ridiculous situation where golf courses will still be able to water their greens and garages will still be able to operate their car washes. When we last had hosepipe bans the government said that they would legislate to prevent this sort of abuse but I haven't heard anything more since!

    Report this comment

    Sage

    Tuesday, March 13, 2012

  • Harry, you can buy 1000 litres of bottled potable water for under £2?

    Report this comment

    Skoalbandit

    Tuesday, March 13, 2012

  • They are having a laugh aren't they? The effect on saving water by imposing a hosepipe ban will be absolutely negligible. Yes the problem is serious but it's not just down to dry weather, but it's got more to do with lack of investment, corporate greed and mismanagement by the water companies.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Tuesday, March 13, 2012

  • Quite agree, EHubbard. Planners are a blot on the landscape. In fact, planning is the last thing they do

    Report this comment

    weaversway

    Thursday, March 15, 2012

  • Sid: Desalination plants are huge consumers of energy. This is why they are generally only used in places like Saudi Arabia and Oman where water is in very short supply and the cost (monetary, the environmental costs are the same everywhere) of energy is not an issue. Solar desalination is also possible in these places - less useful in the UK.

    Report this comment

    point du jour

    Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Homes24
Jobs24
Drive24
LocalSearch24
MyDate24
MyPhotos24
FamilyNotices24
Weddingsite

loading...
Click here to read more of our digital publications

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT