A second hosepipe ban will come into force following the extreme weather in which parts of England had their driest July since records began.
South East Water will restrict the use of hosepipes and sprinklers within Kent and Sussex from Friday August 12 until further notice.
This will mean hosepipes cannot be used to water gardens or clean cars, and ornamental ponds and swimming pools must not be filled.
In a statement on its website, South East Water said: “This has been a time of extreme weather conditions across the UK.
“Official figures show this is the driest July on record since 1935 and the period between November 2021 and July 2022 has been the driest eight-month stint since 1976.
“During July in the South East, we have only seen 8% of average rainfall for the month, and the long-term forecast for August and September is for similar weather.
“The demand for water this summer has broken all previous records, including the Covid lockdown heatwave. We have been producing an additional 120 million litres of water a day to supply our customers, which is the equivalent of supplying a further four towns the size of Maidstone or Eastbourne, daily.
“We have been left with no choice but to restrict the use of hosepipes and sprinklers from 0001 on Friday August 12 within our Kent and Sussex supply area until further notice.
“We are taking this step to ensure we have enough water for both essential use and to protect the environment. This will enable us to also reduce the amount of water we need to take from already stressed local water sources.”
Southern Water announced the first hosepipe ban of the year last week on Hampshire and the Isle of Wight from this Friday.
Provisional figures from the Met Office showed that parts of England had their driest July since records began.
South-east and central southern England saw an average of only 5.0mm of rain last month while East Anglia had 5.4mm.
For both areas it was the lowest amount of rainfall in July since Met Office records began almost 200 years ago, in 1836.
England as a whole saw an average of 23.1mm – the lowest figure for the month since 1935 and the seventh lowest July total on record.
The UK-wide average did not rank quite so low, with 46.3mm of rainfall – the 19th lowest July total since 1836.