Hastings may face a hosepipe ban

A HOSEPIPE ban could be on the horizon for the region after one of the driest and warmest autumns on record.

Water levels have dropped below average in reservoirs such as Brede High Woods in Brede Valley and Darwell near Robertsbridge.

November has been a very dry month with only a few millimetres of rain recorded in the Hastings borough. This compares to 220mm in 2009 and 77mm last year.

Southern Water says groundwater levels across the region are average or just below-average for this time of year.

The company is now relying on an average winter rainfall to make sure water restrictions are not imposed next year. Daytime temperatures this month have been on average six degrees above normal.

Hastings Borough Council meteorologist David Powell said, “The normal Atlantic depressions that hit the west coast are just leaving rain in Northern Ireland and Scotland at the moment.

“A high pressure belt across Russia and Scandinavia is drawing warm winds up from the south east keeping the wet weather out and temperatures above average.

“If we do not get normal rain during the winter then we could end up with a hosepipe ban within the next two or three months. With heavy water use in heating and drinking over the winter we could be in for a difficult few months ahead.”

Southern Water supplies two million customers in Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

Nearly 70 per cent comes from groundwater predominantly from the chalk rock which is widespread across the region. A further 28 per cent comes from rivers and the remaining two per cent from surface water reservoirs.

Southern Water strategy manager Meyrick Gough said: “We would now like to see plenty of rain over the winter months to refill our stocks. We will continue to keep customers updated throughout the winter months.”