With an indefinite hosepipe ban currently in place in Northern Ireland since 29 June, will Scotland soon follow suit?
We’re all guilty of taking our easy access to clean, running water for granted - but consistently high temperatures mean that we’re closer than ever to seeing a crackdown on excessive water usage in Scotland.
What exactly is a hosepipe ban?
Put into place during periods of hot weather to conserve water supplies, a hosepipe ban prohibits the use of hoses for all purposes.
Watering your lawn, washing the car or other vehicles and filling a swimming pool, pond or fountain are all off limits when a ban is being enforced.
Will a ban be put into place in Scotland?
According to Scottish Water, supplies in Scotland are at normal levels, thanks to the heavy rainfall over the autumn and winter months which left reservoirs full.
The water provider also assured customers that they have contingency plans in place to make sure Scottish residents never have to go without water.
Why is there a hosepipe ban in Northern Ireland?
Northern Ireland’s summer hosepipe ban is the region’s first in 23 years. After an extended period of high temperatures and very little rainfall, NI Water has been left unable to treat water quickly enough to satisfy demand.
Homes in Lurgan and Coalisland have been left without water, or experienced low pressure. Isolated properties are particularly at risk.
On Sunday evening, NI Water said demand is still 30 per cent higher than normal, and asked the public to continue to reduce their usage.
What happens if a hosepipe ban is broken?
In Scotland, powers given to utility companies under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 allow them to set the terms and conditions of the ban, such as the time period and hours of the ban.
Anyone caught breaking the rules of a hosepipe ban could be prosecuted in court and fined up to £1,000.
In Northern Ireland, according to the Water and Sewerage Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006, any person found to be ignoring a drought restriction is guilty of an offence, and will also be liable to pay a fine.