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Water restrictions in the UK

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Half of the UK may have to start water rationing next year unless rainfall increases significantly.

Appeals have been issued by water companies to consumers to try and save water this winter.

If there is a ration on water gardeners could see a ban being put in place to stop them using their hosepipes to save water.

The warning comes after a weather report stating it is one of the driest years on record, with this month being the warmest November in 350 years.

Steps can be taken to try and save water during the cooler months to help with water issues in the UK, it will stop any rationing from happening next year.

South East water and Thames water have issued warnings to their customers about saving water, due to the dry weather they could not rule out applying for a drought permit.

A drought permit can be applied for by water companies if they feel the need to, it allows them to take water out of local rivers to put into the reservoirs.

Consumers can help by doing a few things such as turning the tap off when brushing their teeth; this can help to preserve the water.  

Anglian water have been the first company to apply for a drought permit in more than a decade, if they need to they will be allowed to take water from a river to top up Pitsford Water reservoir.  

Veolia Water Central based in Herefordshire have also warned they need help from their customers to save water where they can and to hope for a heavy rainfall over the next couple of weeks.

Not all companies around the UK are worried just yet, although if rainfall is below average it could pose problems with water shortage.

Severn Trent based in Staffordshire are one of the companies that remains hopeful that winter rainfall will replenish water supplies to avoid any problems for next year.

Severn Trent voiced their plans to apply for a water permit due to a dry year since October 2010, luckily because of rainfall turning back to normal and consumers doing what they can to save water, the application for a permit is no longer needed.

Water stored at the Tittesworth reservoir has now increased to a healthy water level and customers have seen their water supply return to normal. They will continue to monitor the reservoir through the winter.  

Consumers can do their bit to save water in the hope that there is no rationing on water supplies next year.

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By Amanda Bainbridge