Despite the recent heavy rainfall, Southern Water is set to impose a hosepipe ban this month due to excessively dry conditions in the region. Currently, no other areas of the country have hosepipe bans in place, though the mainly dry summer in the south-east obviously raises the threat of water restrictions being used in that part of the country in the next few months. Hosepipe bans, however, DO NOT apply to commercial properties such as golf courses but a Drought Order will! Hosepipe bans or officially “temporary use bans” (TUBs) are measures Authorised by the Flood and Water Act in 2010, this replaced the 'hosepipe ban' and restricts the use of the local water by banning certain non-essential uses. The TUB mechanism avoids the need for companies to rely on drought orders and enables them to take early action to conserve water during a drought. If the water company does introduce a TUB then you can visit http://www.hosepipeban.org.uk/ to find out the specifics for your area If water supplies do get really low, then the water companies can apply for a Drought Order. This legislation enables Water Companies to ban the use of MAINS water for commercial use such as sports grounds, golf courses, etc. It should be noted that other water sources such as boreholes, lakes, streams, etc are NOT affected by this ban. These water sources are owned by the Environment Agency, not the water companies, therefore provided the abstraction license allows it, and the Environment Agency does not bring in any restrictions, then these water sources are unaffected. A drought order allows a water company to impose restrictions on non-essential use by public and private sector organisations. The order can only be granted by the Secretary of State, or the Welsh ministers, usually via a public enquiry. In extreme or exceptional circumstances an emergency drought order can be granted to protect the economic or social well-being of persons in the local area. Drought orders are valid for up to 6 months and can be extended for a further 6 months. Emergency drought orders are valid for up to 3 months and can be extended for a further 2 months.
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