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What does hosepipe ban mean for Suffolk?

PUBLISHED: 12:48 26 September 2019 | UPDATED: 14:57 26 September 2019

The region's groundwater levels are at the lowest point in nearly 30 years. Anglian Water's Grafham Water reservoir in Cambridgeshire. Photo: Getty Images / Anglian Water.

The region's groundwater levels are at the lowest point in nearly 30 years. Anglian Water's Grafham Water reservoir in Cambridgeshire. Photo: Getty Images / Anglian Water.

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A hosepipe ban may be introduced in parts of East Anglia, prompting fears similar schemes are set to be rolled out across the whole region.

Anglian Water's Grafham Water reservoir in CambridgeshireAnglian Water's Grafham Water reservoir in Cambridgeshire

On Wednesday, Affinity Water warned its Essex customers it "may need to introduce water restrictions in spring 2020" due to three years of drought conditions.

Rainfall across the region has been lower than average in recent years and despite the heavy rain of recent days, groundwater levels are at the lowest point in about roughly 30 years.

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However, Anglian Water has moved to reassure customers across Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex it has no current plans to follow Affinity's lead and introduce such restrictions.

"We have no plans for any customer restrictions this year", said a spokesman for the water company.

"But some parts of our region have had below average rainfall for the last 16 months, meaning that groundwater levels in the east are the lowest they have been for nearly 30 years.

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"We need at least average rainfall over this winter to replenish these supplies and avoid restrictions next spring and summer.

"We will continue to monitor the situation closely and support our colleagues at Affinity Water to share resources across our regions.

"Ultimately, the more water we, and our customers save now, will make a difference to the resources we all have available for the longer term. This is why we always ask our customers to use water wisely whatever the weather. "

Affinity supplies water to the Tendring district of Essex, including Clacton-on-Sea, Manningtree, Frinton-on Sea and Harwich.

As well as serving parts of Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Surrey, and London.

In a letter to customers chief executive Pauline Walsh wrote: "We may need to introduce water restrictions (also known as a hosepipe ban) in spring 2020.

"We rely on rain, especially in winter, to supply your water. The rain this week is not enough to make up for three years of dry weather.

"There's lots we're doing but you can help too."

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