Up to 8 million homes face hosepipe bans by the end of the month and the restrictions could last throughout the summer in a bid to stave off a worsening drought.
A government report is expected to show that the drought could lead to higher bread, vegetable, fruit and beer prices.
The Drought Prospects Report by the Environment Agency is due out tomorrow and will outline expected water restrictions and announce drought action guidelines for spring and summer.
It is expected upgrade the rest of the Midlands and Yorkshire to be being at “high risk” of joining much of the south and east as official drought areas.
Anglian, Southern, Thames, South East and Veolia in the Home Counties, which together have a total of 20 million customers, are understood to have plans to bring in bans within two to four weeks, it has been reported. Portsmouth Water and Sutton and East Surrey Water may follow suit later this month.
Three weeks ago, nine water companies – including Thames, Southern, Anglian and Portsmouth Water – jointly warned of “hosepipes and non-essential use bans within a few weeks” unless “dramatic” rain arrived.
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