Millions more households could face hosepipe bans after the driest July in decades as forecasters warn of another heatwave.
Temperatures are predicted to rise above 30C next week, with little respite this month for communities on the verge of drought.
South East Water became the second supplier today to introduce a hosepipe and sprinkler ban. It announced restrictions on about 2.2 million customers in Kent and Sussex from a week on Friday until further notice. The measure means that hosepipes cannot be used to water gardens or clean cars, and ornamental ponds and swimming pools must not be filled.
Southern Water announced the first hosepipe ban of the year in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight from Friday.
Thames Water, the biggest water company in