Brighton and Hove is officially suffering from a drought, the government said today (Monday 20 February).
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said that water companies would be taking measures to try to preserve supplies across much of southern and eastern England.
These could include ordering a hosepipe ban, urging customers to save water and improving the detection of leaks.
Groundwater levels are lower than they have been since the summer of 1976 when Britain basked in a heatwave and couples were encouraged to share a bath.
Now, water companies say that it would be better to have a shower than a bath as showers typically use less water.
Southern Water, which serves Brighton and Hove and has offices in Falmer, was one of the companies represented at a drought summit called by Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman today.
She said: “Drought is already an issue this year with the South East, Anglia and other parts of the UK now officially in drought.
“More areas are likely to be affected as we continue to experience a prolonged period of very low rainfall.
“It is not just the responsibility of government, water companies and businesses to act against drought.
“We are asking for the help of everyone by urging them to use less water and to start now.”
Southern said that there were many ways people could help.
They included using a bucket and sponge when washing their cars rather than a hose, waiting until they have a full load before using their washing machines and diswashers and rinsing with a mug when they clean their teeth rather than leaving the tap running.
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