Hosepipe ban looming: Bookmaker rates chances at odds on as mercury rises

And spokesman Harry Aitkenhead said Coral were also offering short odds on the nation sweltering in the hottest summer on record, further complicating an already difficult situation with restrictions still in force. Northern Ireland was specifically warned about the possibility of a ban yesterday, while South East Water is appealing to its 2.2 million customers to cut down on usage.

Coral is offering odds of 1-2 on a ban coming into force as the UK moves from May into June, and therefore summertime.

The odds of Britain experiencing its hottest ever summer are rated at 8-11, while the prospects of the hottest ever June at 4-5.

Mr Aitkenhead said: “Many gardens are already desperate for rain and it’s been one of the driest months we’ve ever had.

“We now go odds on for a hosepipe ban this summer.

“It looks like plenty of records will tumble in 2020 and we make it just 8-11 for the UK’s hottest ever summer now.”

Speaking yesterday, Maynard Cousley, NI Water’s senior supply manager, said the situation was being exacerbated by high temperatures over the last 48 hours.

He explained: “During the lockdown period we are seeing increased usage. During COVID-19 we have calculated that people need an extra 12 litres of water a day – just for personal hygiene.

“Household consumption is up about 15 percent and even in the past 48 hours there has been a big surge in demand and that’s because of the high temperatures.

“We need to reduce our use. What we are asking people to do is – please don’t use hosepipes.

“Please don’t use garden sprinklers it uses a lot of water.

“If demand continues to rise as it normally does with high temperatures then restrictions or a hosepipe ban are things that NI Water will have to consider.”

Meanwhile a statement issued by South East Water, also yesterday, said: “We’re seeing a huge demand on our network due to more of us being at home.

“Our key workers continue to work around the clock, but we’re asking everyone to help us by taking simple steps.

“They include not watering lawns, reusing paddling pool water and only using dishwashers and washing machines on full loads to help make sure there is enough water for everyone.

“We’ve been treating and pumping an additional 78 million litres of water a day through our network.”

Yorkshire Water has also warned reservoirs are only 75 percent full after one of the driest Mays on record.

A spokeswoman said: “We’ve all been enjoying the lovely weather over the past few months and it’s definitely helped boost everyone’s morale during what is a really difficult time.

“However, this good weather has meant we haven’t had much rain over the past few months and the levels of water in our reservoirs are lower than they normally would be.”

Yorkshire Water is appealing to its three million customers to take four-minute showers and turn taps off when brushing their teeth.

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