London, Mar 13 (ANI): British households could face a 1000-pound fine for using hosepipes as the country tries to avert its worst drought in 124 years.
Suppliers warned that widespread restrictions, including hosepipe bans, could be brought in within weeks.
Seven companies who provide water to about 22 million consumers confirmed restrictions would apply from April 5.
Britain's devastating water shortage has prompted environment chiefs to warn: "Take action now."
"If water levels don't improve, hosepipe bans are just the beginning," the Daily Express quoted Justin Taberham, director of policy at the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management, as saying.
"It will be households first, with people unable to wash their cars or water their plants, then industry will start to be affected.
"The first to face bans will be those who waste water unnecessarily and aren't seen as particularly important, like car washes," he said.
Companies have the power to impose the penalty under Section 76 of the Water Industry Act 1991, which says, "Any person contravening a water use prohibition shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding 1,000 pounds."
Water company Anglian Water, which is imposing its first hosepipe ban in more than 20 years, said the move was the "most sensible and responsible action" to safeguard customer supplies.
"Our region has had its driest 18 months for a century. This is one of those times when everyone needs to pull together and help save water," said its Managing Director Peter Simpson said. (ANI)
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