Gardeners are encouraged to poison their green-fingered neighbors if they notice that they repeatedly violate the ban on the use of hoses.
those who break the rules face fines of up to £1,000 if taken to court, although water companies say they prefer “training over law enforcement”.
This is because the first hose bans, also known as Temporary Use Bans (TUBs), were introduced on Friday in parts of southern England, with further restrictions coming later this month for the South East of England and the South west of Wales.
Southern Water, whose domestic water restrictions are currently in place in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, urged people to “gently remind” neighbors of the current restrictions if they see someone breaking the rules.
The spokesperson added: “If you see someone violating restrictions repeatedly, please let us know through our customer service team.
“Any violations can be subject to a fine of up to £1,000.
“Our approach is about education, not coercion.
“We would like to thank all of our clients for supporting these restrictions and for doing their part to protect your local rivers.”
Any penalty must be imposed through the courts.
Current restrictions include using a hose to water a garden, clean a car, or clean windows.
They also include filling a children’s pool, home pond or decorative fountain.
TUB does not place restrictions on general and commercial uses of water, such as professional window cleaners and car washes, or on businesses that require water as part of their operations, such as zoos.
Similar measures will be introduced for South East Water customers in Kent and Sussex on August 12, while Welsh Water will introduce a hose ban in Pembrokeshire on August 19.
Months of low rainfall, combined with record temperatures in July, resulted in exceptionally low river levels, depleted reservoirs and drying up soils.
All this puts pressure on the environment, agriculture and water supply and contributes to forest fires.
The Met Office warned that “very little meaningful rain” is expected on the horizon of England’s drylands as temperatures soar to 30 degrees next week.
While this could mean another wave of heat – when temperatures are above average for three or more days – it is likely that conditions will be well below the 40°C seen in some places last month.
The situation has prompted calls for action to reduce water use to protect the environment and resources, and to restore the country’s lost wetlands “on a massive scale” to cope with future drier summers and droughts.
Other water companies have so far refrained from imposing restrictions despite low water levels, though some say they may have to impose bans if the dry weather continues.
Households that have not yet been affected by the restrictions are urged to avoid using hoses to water the garden or wash the car.