A hosepipe ban has been in effect in Northern Ireland since Friday and, with the hot weather set to continue, are we about to see further bans across the UK?
It’s been hot and sunny across large parts of the UK for two weeks now – and there’s no let up this week, with the Met Office saying temperatures will hit 30C in many places.
The hot spell is predicted to continue for the rest of the month. Emma Salter, meteorologist at the Met Office said that the “unusual” weather is set to go on “for the rest of July… with temperatures above average with hot and warm spells, and just the odd changeable spell.”
Responding to the hot weather, Northern Ireland imposed a hosepipe ban on Friday (the first in 27 years). So now might be a good time to consider whether other regions of the UK will follow suit.
The last time widespread hosepipe bans were imposed in the UK was in 2012, when seven water authorities asked 20 million customers to cut back on water usage.
A hosepipe ban would be bad news for gardeners, as the then deputy editor of Which? Gardening, Veronica Peerless, wrote in 2012:
“Keeping a garden looking good or veggies watered in summer is always a challenge, and it’s more laborious without a hose – especially if you have a big garden.”
But it’s not just gardeners who would be affected by a hosepipe ban. The ban also covers people washing their cars, filling swimming pools and their ponds and fountains.
Water companies are already urging people to use less water to avoid imposing blanket hosepipe bans.
United Utilities, the provider for much of north west England, asked customers in a statement at the weekend to turn off sprinklers and take showers rather than baths, adding:
“The demand is so high, particularly during peak times, that we are struggling to get enough water around the system quick enough.”
Incase a ban is imposed in your area, Which? Gardening recommends concentrating any watering you do on patio pots and baskets, recently-planted border plants and leafy, salad veg as these need it most.
And they say: don’t bother to water the lawn even if it turns brown as it will soon recover when it rains again.
As a budding gardener myself – having moved into a house with a small garden about a year ago – I’m aware that a hosepipe ban would mean a lot more time spent outdoors, filling up a watering can.
But in the grand scheme of things, what’s a bit more time every day spent watering your plants by hand?
Are you worried about the ongoing hot spell? How did you deal with the hosepipe bans in 2012?
What do you use to water your garden?
A combination of the two (45%, 498 Votes)
Hosepipe/sprinkler and mains water (21%, 236 Votes)
Nothing – I leave it to the rain (17%, 194 Votes)
Water butts (17%, 186 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,114