In 2007 the Government consulted on proposals to modernise the powers to restrict non-essential uses of water. It was agreed that the existing hosepipe ban powers would be replaced with a new wider power that will increase the range of water uses which could be limited or prohibited when water resources are in short supply.
The Government intend to bring these changes into effect through an enabling power in the flood and water management Bill. This would allow the Secretary of State to extend the uses of water that may be restricted under existing water company hosepipe ban powers. The existing hosepipe ban powers apply only to the watering of private gardens and the washing of private motor vehicles. The proposed legislative change is currently being consulted on as part of the draft flood and water management Bill.
The department has committed to undertake further work to identify evidence of the costs and benefits of these changes. Any additional non-essential uses of water that may be prohibited, which could include the filling of private swimming pools, would be added to the legislation through an order, and would be subject to parliamentary scrutiny.