Friday 5 August 2022 12:58 AM Another hosepipe ban hits 200,000 residents as Welsh Water imposes temporary ... trends now
A third hosepipe ban has been announced in bone-dry Britain, with other water companies expected to follow suit.
Welsh Water imposed its temporary ban for customers in Pembrokeshire and a small part of Carmarthenshire yesterday, which will begin on August 19.
It means some 200,000 people will not be allowed to water their plants, wash their cars or clean windows using a hose.
Ian Christie, from Welsh Water, said: ‘We have not seen such prolonged dry conditions in Pembrokeshire since 1976.
The hosepipe ban is not a decision we have taken lightly. However if we are to make sure there is enough water to see us through the rest of the summer and into the autumn then we need to act now to try and prevent any further restrictions later on.’
It follows similar restrictions by Southern Water in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, and South East Water in Kent and Sussex, covering around three million people. South West Water has also warned customers it could introduce a ban.
An aerial view of low water levels in the Carew River in Pembrokeshire, Wales, on July 11, 2022
But critics said the bans were the result of a ‘farcical’ failure to plan ahead for dry weather.
It comes as Thames Water, which is threatening to bring in a hosepipe ban, has been caught up in a furious row about its failure to run a £250million desalination plant, which was designed to deliver up to 100 million litres of water a day during times of drought.
Thames Water’s Gateway Water Treatment Works, in Beckton, east London, was built in 2010 to take fresh and saltwater from the tidal River Thames to provide tap water for up to 400,000 households.
But the plant is currently out of service as southern England is experiencing the driest weather since records began.
The desalination plant is expensive to run – Thames Water said it costs £660 to produce one million litres of water, compared to £45 with a traditional large treatment plant. It said that the plant has only supplied water to customers twice, in 2016 and 2018.
The water firm said that even if the plant had been working this summer, it would not have ruled out bringing in a hosepipe ban owing to the ongoing dry weather.
Pictured: Low tide in the Carew River which runs alongside Carew Castle in Pembrokeshire
It has not yet brought in a ban but said it will have no