Hosepipe bans could come into force across England from next month if current dry weather continues, creating drought conditions.
The National Drought Group, which includes representatives from the water industry, farmers and government, will meet on Tuesday to discuss ways to mitigate water shortages. That could include local hosepipe bans and calls for households to cut down on non-essential use.
Most of England is already in prolonged dry weather status, the stage before a drought is declared. The last drought was announced in 2018 and stretched into the following year.
Southern Water has already made a drought permit request with the Environment Agency, which is likely to lead to a hosepipe ban in the area. The company has asked its customers to reduce their usage as much as possible to protect water levels in the River Test.