Isle of Man declares hosepipe ban amid drought warning in England

·Breaking News Editor, Yahoo News UK
·3 min read
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2022/07/08: A gardener waters the flowers using a hosepipe. As the heatwave continues, there are fears of water shortage and a hosepipe ban in London. (Photo by Dinendra Haria/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
The Isle of Man has announced Britain's first hosepipe ban of the year. (Getty)

The Isle of Man has declared a hosepipe ban amid the prolonged period of hot, dry weather that has left Brits sweltering under extreme heat.

On Tuesday, the Environment Agency warned England was facing a drought next month if dry conditions continue and urged people to reduce their water use.

So far July 2022 has been the driest July for England since 1911, with only 24% of the rain that would be expected in the month, the Met Office said.

Authorities on the island in the Irish Sea said the ban will come into force from Friday, after rainfall in June was measured at 28.9mm versus the average of 62.9mm - over 50% less than usual.

They said the current weather pattern and reservoir levels are mirroring that of 2018, when a hosepipe ban was introduced in June.

Residents on the island are being asked to "cherish every single drop" of water use to ensure the drinking water supply is not compromised.

Among the activities which will be banned include jet-washing a drive, watering a garden with a hosepipe, and washing a car.

Read more: UK ‘on verge of worst drought since 1976’ with strict hosepipe ban possible

Watch: England facing drought if hot and dry weather continues

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 26, 2022 - The UK is heading for a possible drought in August. Dry conditions in Hyde Park. (Photo credit should read Matthew Chattle/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
The UK is heading for a possible drought in August. Dry conditions in Hyde Park. (Getty)

Those who ignore the temporary use ban can be fined up to £2,000.

The ban came in after Manx Utilities said there was an "unusually high demand for water", and has been "consistently above average for the last two years and proved in recent weeks to be significantly higher than expected for this time of year".

Max Water chairman Rob Callister said, “As with many water utility organisations, climate change is having a profound effect on raw water supplies across the globe and the Isle of Man is not immune.

"However, as an island it is important to remember that the supply we have is the only one available to us, so we must all consider what we believe to be essential use and adhere to the provisions of the temporary use ban, until the availability of raw water stocks stabilises.

Read more: People urged to reduce unnecessary water use as England faces drought

GLOSSOP, ENGLAND - JULY 21: In this aerial view the bed of the Woodhead reservoir can be seen as Summer water levels become reduced on July 21, 2022 in Glossop, England. Recent high demand for drinking water, record temperatures and reduced rainfall has seen some reservoirs in England at only 62% capacity. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Water levels are very low at the Woodhead reservoir in Glossop, Derbyshire. (Getty)

"Although the restrictions apply to domestic users we would also ask businesses to consider their water use needs and activities to protect our Island’s supply.”

The Environment Agency (EA) convened the National Drought Group (NDG) on Tuesday, bringing together officials from the Environment Department (Defra), water companies, the Met Office, the National Farmers’ Union and others.

Most of England has moved into “prolonged dry weather” status – meaning the EA is now taking precautionary actions to mitigate impacts.

Nowhere in England is currently considered to be in a drought and most water companies are maintaining good reservoir storage for summer demand.

The EA said that if further measures are required, temporary use bans – more commonly known as hosepipe bans – will be determined by individual water companies.

Officials said recent abnormally high temperatures have exacerbated conditions resulting from lower than normal rainfall so far this year in many parts of England.

The Met Office is forecasting potentially several more dry weeks ahead, particularly in the south and east of the country, so the EA and water companies are now enacting the early stages of their drought plans and calling on everyone to do their bit in managing water use.

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