Heatwave 2022: Thames Water could bring in hosepipe ban for London this summer

“If we do not receive average rainfall in the coming months this may indeed result in the need for more water saving measures, including restrictions.”

Londoners could face a hosepipe ban this summer, after Thames Water admitted a lack of rainfall could lead to “water saving measures” being needed.

It comes as the capital sizzles amid an expected 40C heatwave, with record-breaking temperatures being set and a red weather warning being issued by the Met Office for the first time ever - plunging the country into an official national emergency.

The water company, which provides hydration for the capital and the south east, said nine of the last 11 months had been unusually dry - meaning reservoir levels were lower than expected.

Water companies have called for people to think about their water usage (image: Adobe)

A Thames Water spokesperson said: “Whilst we’re not currently expecting to need to introduce restrictions on water use this summer, we know the water we have stored in our reservoirs will reduce as people start to use more water in their gardens through the summer.

“So if we do not receive around or above average rainfall in the coming months this will increase pressure on our resources and may indeed result in the need for more water saving measures, including restrictions.”

They added: “Due to nine out of the last 11 months being drier than average, groundwater in aquifers and flows in the rivers we rely on for water are lower than normal for this time of year, as is the water stored in our reservoirs.

“Over the last three months, our area received only around 65% of the average rainfall, with similarly low levels of rainfall over the preceding winter and spring period.”

A public awareness campaign on water use has also been launched, asking people to be careful about the amount of water they use.

In the heat, customers may use water “faster than we can treat it and pump it to their taps”, Thames Water said.

Waterloo Bridge was closed by police. Photo: Getty

They added: “With our water efficiency media campaign in place across TV, YouTube and radio channels we’re asking everyone to be particularly careful with how much they use, especially outdoors.

“This will also help protect our precious rivers and the environment, where every drop of water we all use comes from.”

Top tips for saving water:

  • Swap your hose for a watering can. A sprinkler can use as much water in half an hour as the average family of four uses in a whole day. 
  • Don’t water when the sun’s out and temperatures are high to help minimise the amount of water evaporating. Water early in the morning if you can as evening watering encourages the slugs and snails to come out at night.
  • Take shorter showers. On average, a shower uses around 10 litres of water a minute. That means a 10-minute shower can use 100 litres of water. If a family of four reduced their shower time by just one minute, they could save up to £45 on metered water bills and a further £52 on energy bills every year.
  • Turn off the taps while you brush your teeth. A running tap uses on average 6-8 litres of water a minute. That’s over 14 pints straight down the drain.
  • Fix leaky loos and dripping taps. Leaky loos are usually caused by a faulty flush valve or fill valve inside your cistern tank and can waste an average of around 400 litres of water a day. That’s equal to five full bathtubs or around £350 a year.
  • Wait until you have a full load before running the dishwasher or washing machine. This will save on the amount of water you use, and lower your energy use - and bills.

Households can also find a free water saving calculator on the Thames Water website where they can work out how much water and energy they are using and receive tailored advice on how to save.