No problems with local reservoir levels

Reservoirs supplying the Midhurst and Petworth area remain almost full, despite weeks without significant rain.

Southern Water said this week all its four above-ground reservoirs were close to 100 per cent full with levels higher than this time last year.

The company's water planning and strategy manager Meyrick Gough said it did not anticipate a hosepipe ban as long as people used their water wisely and did not waste it.

"The reservoir levels in our region are in a good position for this time of year," Mr Gough said.

"Groundwater levels are also above average for this time of year. Since October, 696mm of rain has fallen compared with the long-term average of 573mm."

Nearly 70 per cent of the south east's water supply comes from groundwater, predominantly from the chalk aquifer which

is widespread across the region.

A further 28 per cent comes from rivers and the remaining two

per cent from surface water reservoirs.

However, some Southern Water customers have been experiencing low pressure from their taps.

Households in the South Harting, Elsted and Graffham areas are being affected and the company suggests it could be because water is being taken from a fire hydrant without permission.

It is asking people to contact them if they spot anyone taking water from a fire hydrant who is not from Southern Water or the fire service.

It says only in special circumstances does it give permission for third parties to draw water from hydrants.

n The Royal Horticultural Society has warned gardeners that soil dryness levels have already reached a level that is often not encountered until late July or even August.

Recent low rainfall has led to soils having a moisture deficit of four inches.

That amount would be needed to restore the soil to full moisture capacity.

While the RHS advises supplementary watering for vulnerable plants, it questions whether watering lawns is a sensible use of water as brown lawns will quickly green up when the rain returns.