Neighbors asked to lawn on garden hose rule breakers

Gardeners are encouraged to grass their green-fingered neighbors if they see them repeatedly breaking garden hose bans.

Violators face fines of up to £1,000 if brought to justice, although water companies say they prefer ‘education to enforcement’.

It comes as the first watering bans – also known as temporary use bans (TUBs) – were introduced in parts of southern England on Friday, with further restrictions planned for the south- east of England and south west Wales later this month.

Elsewhere, golf courses saw their fairways dry up, as the source of the Thames moved five miles downstream for the first time.

Southern Water, whose domestic water use restrictions are now in place in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, encouraged people to ‘kindly remind’ neighbors of the restrictions in place if they see anyone break the rules.

A spokesperson added: “If you see someone repeatedly breaking the restrictions, please let us know through our customer service team.

“A fine of up to £1,000 may be imposed for any breach.

“Our approach is one of education rather than application.

“We would like to thank all of our customers for their support of these restrictions and for helping to protect your local rivers.”

Any fines should be imposed by the courts.

(PA graphics)(PA graphics)

Southern Water’s annual report showed it wasted nearly 21 million gallons of water a day due to leaks, although this was a slight reduction from the previous year.

Current restrictions cover the use of a garden hose to water a garden, clean a vehicle or wash windows.

They also include the filling of a paddling pool, a domestic pond or an ornamental fountain.

The TUB does not impose restrictions on essential and commercial water uses, such as commercial window cleaners and car washes, or businesses that require water as part of their operations, such as zoos.

Elephant Appreciation Weekend at Whipsnade ZooDomestic wading pools cannot be filled under hose-pipe ban rules, although zoos are exempt (Chris Radburn/PA)

Similar measures will be introduced for South East Water customers in Kent and Sussex on August 12, while Welsh Water will introduce a garden hose ban on August 19 to cover Pembrokeshire.

Months of low rainfall, combined with record high temperatures in July, left rivers at unusually low levels, depleted reservoirs and dried out soils.

In Gloucestershire, the source of the River Thames has moved five miles downstream – what the Rivers Trust described as “unprecedented” and “sadly emblematic” of the climate emergency.

All of this has put pressure on the environment, agriculture and water supply, and is fueling the forest fires.

The Met Office has warned there is “very little significant rain” on the horizon for parched parts of England as temperatures are expected to climb into the 30s next week.

drought alertThe greens and fairways of Littlestone Golf Club near New Romney in Kent (Gareth Fuller/PA)

While that could mean another heatwave – when temperatures are above average for three or more days – it’s likely conditions will be well below the 40C seen in some places last month.

The situation has prompted calls for action to reduce water use to protect the environment and supply, and to restore the country’s lost wetlands ‘on a huge scale’ to face a dwindling future. drier summers and droughts.

So far, other water companies have delayed introducing restrictions despite low water levels, although some say they may need to implement bans if the dry weather continues.

Households that have not yet been affected by the restrictions are asked to avoid using garden hoses to water the garden or clean the car.

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