Why do we have a hosepipe ban so early in the year?

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At least 20 million households and businesses have been told that that they can't use hosepipes to water their garden, wash the car or clean outside spaces.

The ban, imposed by seven different water companies, is expected to last through the summer.

Anyone caught flouting it has been warned they could face a fine of up to £1,000.

So why has the ban been introduced so early in the year and how much do we need to change the way we use water?

The BBC's science editor, David Shukman, explains.

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