Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

First Isle of Man hosepipe ban in 15 years comes into force

Watering a plant Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Manx Utilities says the island is facing a "one in 20 year" water shortage

The Isle of Man's first hosepipe ban in 15 years has come into force.

Manx Utilities said reservoirs had fallen by up to 42% after a "once in 20-year heat wave". A further three months of dry weather is forecast.

Those caught flouting the ban, for example in order to wash cars or water gardens, could be fined up to £1,000.

The first hosepipe ban of the summer in England - potentially affecting seven million in the North West - was called off on Thursday after modest rainfall.

Following the driest and hottest May, June and July on record since 1989, the Manx Met Office said there was unlikely to be enough rain in coming months to top up reservoirs.

'Hosepipe police'

In addition to the hosepipe ban, people are being encouraged to take short showers instead of baths, use a bucket to wash their cars, and not to use paddling pools.

Manx Utilities chairman Dr Alex Allinson said the measures were needed to guarantee the water supply.

He said: "We don't have the hosepipe police but we're sending out a message to conserve your water and take this seriously."

Chief Forecaster Adrian Cowin said: "There is only a 40% probability of near normal rainfall for the next three months and a 35% probability of below normal rainfall.

"To be quite honest even normal rainfall would not cut the mustard to help us out in this situation."

The crackdown will remain in place until further notice.

Image copyright Manx Radio
Image caption A further three months of dry weather have been forecast for the Isle of Man
Image copyright Manx Radio
Image caption The level of some reservoirs has fallen by more than 40% in three months
Image copyright Manx Radio
Image caption The hosepipe crackdown will remain in place until further notice

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