MORE dry weather is on the cards for Peterborough as residents prepare for the first hosepipe ban in the area in 20 years, beginning on Thursday, 5th April.
The Evening Telegraph reported on the announced hosepipe ban last month as a result of the current drought.
Since then officials at Anglian Water say hundreds of customers have been contacting them with questions about the ban but added that the public response had been positive.
Ciaron Nelson, a spokesman for Anglian Water, said: “By and large people in the Peterborough area realise that they live in one of the driest regions in the country.
“The eastern region traditionally receives two thirds of the rainfall that the rest of the country gets.
“Last year, the region received two thirds of the two thirds it was expected to get - so that gives an idea of just how severe the drought has been.
“We have had a phenomenal response to the hosepipe ban, having had extensive coverage in the local media.”
The ban is being put in place to combat the effects of the drought following the driest 18-month period in the region for more than a century.
Anyone caught flouting the ban could find themselves facing a £1,000 fine.
At present, the ban will only apply to domestic use of hosepipes for things such as gardening, washing cars and filling paddling pools.
Businesses and other commercial operations will not be affected at present.
There will also be a small number of exemptions to protect jobs, livelihoods and the infirm, while people can still water their gardens if they use a watering can and clean their cars, as long as they use a bucket.
Mr Nelson added: “We have hundreds of customers contacting us to question whether they can use their hosepipe for certain activities.
“We do make exemptions - for example elderly people or disabled people may be unable to easily carry buckets of water around.
“But anyone who is looking for a way to get around the ban will need to have a very good reason.”
The dry weather which the region has been experiencing looks likely to continue into April with few spells of rain being forecast.
A MET office spokesman said: “The glorious sunny weather that much of the Peterborough area has experienced over the past few days is going to continue.
“Temperatures have been well above average for this time of year, hitting around 16C and will stay high into April.
“There maybe some isolated spells of rain or showers at times but no prolonged rainfall is forecast up until mid-April.”
A number of initiatives aimed at combating the dry weather have been carried out in recent weeks.
An operation to remove fish from the Maxey Cut near Peterborough to the nearby River Welland started last week with 20 chub, between eight to 10 pike and between 20 to 30 sea trout already being relocated.
More fish will be removed from the 9km stretch of water and into the river over the next two weeks.
Anglian Water announced last week that two giant boreholes at Pilsgate Water Works in Barnack, near Stamford, will be used to boost water supplies in the Stamford area.
When up and running the boreholes could supply as much as three million litres of water a day, Stamford currently uses 8.5 million litres of water a day.
More information: Anglian Water - About hosepipe bans, what can and can’t be done
Drought levels achieve new records
THE recent drought has seen weather records broken across the county.
In February, according to The Met Office, Cambridgeshire experienced just 10.1mm of rainfall - less than a third of the average of 32.77mm. This was the county’s fifth driest February since records began in 1910.
Moreover, last year, Cambridgeshire had its second driest 12 months on record, with just 383.2mm falling compared to an average of 559.1mm.
You would have to go back to 1921 to find a lower annual rainfall, when 302.6mm of rain fell.
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