Hosepipe ban remains in place across Northern Ireland

People enjoy the hot weather in Henley on Thames Oxfordshire as the heatwave continues to create perfect conditions for barbecues amid the first hosepipe ban in six years

People enjoy the hot weather in Henley on Thames Oxfordshire as the heatwave continues to create perfect conditions for barbecues amid the first hosepipe ban in six years

The company has said that businesses are exempted from the hosepipe ban "as it is recognised they rely on water use for their livelihood".

Roads melted, train tracks reached 49C and a hosepipe ban came into force in Northern Ireland on Friday evening. The ban, which took effect today, will be in place until July 31. The weather has been dry since late February this year with Met Éireann reporting that the level of rain that has fallen is on par with 1976 when a major drought was in place.

The spokeswoman added: "Unnecessary use of water ie washing cars, watering lawns etc, is putting the water supply of your own household and that of your neighbours at risk". However, it has called for staff and students to only use water when absolutely necessary.

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Cousley explained how a water shortage could happen and said: "The challenge is that demand for water is unprecedented".

Meanwhile, tankering of water is ongoing, to supplement the reservoirs in Doon, Bruff, Newcastle West, Ardagh and Loughill.

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The public is being urged to continue conserving water in every possible way to ensure a continuous supply for all.

Southern Water, which supplies water to parts of Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, said it was asking customers to help "keep taps flowing across our region".

"You can help us by turning off your garden sprinklers, not using your hosepipes, not washing your vehicle and taking shorter showers and not baths this weekend". "Wider water restrictions may become unavoidable if the demand does not drop towards normal levels".

"When the current hot weather ends we will still need customers to be mindful of their water usage for the months ahead to protect the available water for the remainder of the summer and into the autumn".

"We're immensely grateful to all our customer who have taken those small steps to reduce their non-essential water usage".

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