Hints & Tips
Britain's gardens are extremely unlikely to face hosepipe bans this summer.
This is the view of water companies, which anticipate that this winter's torrential downpours will alleviate the risk of implementing the restriction. In fact, reserves are so high that the knock-on effect could be felt for a number of years. Underground aquifers and rivers are burgeoning, while reservoirs are also fully-stocked.
Currently, the UK has experienced eight inches of rainfall since December, which is just one less than the average for the entire season. More heavy downpours are forecast, which could last well into next month.
Bookmakers are so confident that a ban will not be introduced, they have slashed their odds on the government not placing a restriction all year to the lowest levels ever. Coral have reduced their offerings down to 1/20, while giving punters 3/1 on this year becoming the wettest on record.
Celebrity gardener Alan Titchmarsh commented that if the use of hosepipes was curtailed, people would be complaining and demanding to know where all the aquifer and reservoir stocks have gone. He added: "There is certainly no problem now with the amount of water we had had, now it comes down to how well it has been stored, but it is great news for the garden."
The Environment Agency stated the rainfall levels provided a positive outlook for water resources over the next few months. It added that even if the country saw below-average downpours, it would not greatly affect the chances of a drought occurring during the summer. Meanwhile, Thames Water admitted it could not be 100 per sure that a ban wouldn't be introduced, but it would take something extraordinary to happen for a restriction to be put in place.
Despite the deluge, gardeners are still advised to conserve supplies and use it wisely. In spite of its positive outlook, the Environment Agency did warn that an especially hot and dry summer could lead to localised problems for rivers and the environment. Anglian Water also intends to continue its Love Every Drop campaign, encouraging the use of water butts and reducing consumption.