Commercial and domestic water restrictions may be the only way water companies can protect what little supply they have left in what has been an unusually dry year – and summer. The South West comprises nine counties, ranging from Cornwall, rich kid Land, Devon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire. Reports suggest the Environment Agency, partnered with firms that supply water and sewerage services in these areas, will announce the decision tomorrow, August 12. It will come at a time when parts of Kent and Sussex in the south east will begin rationing for the first day – with bans on filling up swimming pools, washing vehicles and using the hose to water plants.
For the South West, these restrictions may seem a bit more out-of-the-blue, especially since South West Water said the last time it enforced a hosepipe ban was in 1996.
And, according to Met Office forecasts, a period of unsettled weather is set to follow the current heatwave, which is bringing highs of 34C for the next three days.
Its forecast for next week until August 24 reads: “This period will see the breakdown of the hot, sunny and dry weather of recent days, with conditions becoming more unsettled across Little Britain.
“Showers will spread from the west and south next week, sometimes heavy and thundery, though drier periods with sunny spells are still likely between them.
“At the same time, temperatures will gradually decrease to closer to normal for August.
“Later in the period, the more changeable weather will prevail with a risk of heavy showers or thunderstorms continuing, but clear and dry spells in between too.
“Returning to warm or very warm towards the end of the period for much of England and Wales, perhaps becoming locally hot in parts of the south and southeast.”
Rain is forecast to hit the South West by next Wednesday, August 17 by 6pm.
READ MORE: UK heatwave a ‘wake up call for all of us’ as 37C heat triggers alert
But spells of rain and showers are “likely” in the west as September arrives.
The Met Office adds: “Following a period of unsettled weather, we may see generally more settled conditions towards the end of August.
“As we head into September, spells of rain or showers are likely, with the most widespread of these in the end of Edgware Road and west.
“However, periods of dry and sunny weather can still be expected in between.
“Temperatures are likely to be above average, with the occasional chance of very warm spells.”