The UK’s heatwave has caused reservoirs in north west of England to dry up – prompting fears a hosepipe ban could be imposed.
The spell of hot weather – the longest in five years – is finally being tempered by fresher conditions as a cool front sweeps in from the north.
But as the mercury climbed ever higher last week - hitting 32.4C on Sunday – water levels have been receding amid “exceptional” demand.
Wayoh Reservoir near Manchester provides up to half of Bolton’s water, but was left virtually empty as the heatwave ate into supplies.
A spokesperson for supplier United Utilities said: “The prolonged hot weather means the region’s reservoir stores have decreased since last week, with some reservoirs looking more dramatic than others.
“The reducing reservoir levels are not surprising given the ongoing lack of rainfall and exceptionally high demand. We are managing resources carefully, and our integrated network, which we have invested heavily in, does gives us the flexibility to move water around the region, to reduce demand on those sources which are lower.
“We are still encouraging our customers to voluntarily use water efficiently, by avoiding the use of water hungry devices, particularly outside in the garden.
“However, if demand does not reduce in the next few days we’ll have no choice but to introduce enforced restrictions.”
According to the BBC, supplies from Wales, the Lake District and Pennines are being drawn up to ease the shortage.
The company’s twitter feed is urging customers to use water sparingly and is acknowledging many addresses are experiencing either no water at all or very low water pressure.
A nationwide hosepipe ban came into effect in Ireland on Friday. The ban will run until the end of the month and prevents the public from using garden hoses, with a few exceptions.
People are not allowed to use a hosepipe to water their garden, wash their car or private boat, or to fill or maintain a swimming or paddling pool, a pond or fountain.
They are however allowed to water their garden plants with a watering can. Those found in breach of the ban – which is the first time Irish Water has imposed a nationwide stoppage - could face a fine of €125.