A hosepipe ban promised for much of London and Thames Valley is due to kick in next Wednesday (August 24), Thames Water has announced.

Record-breaking temperatures and limited rainfall have led to hosepipe bans imposed by multiple water companies, including Welsh Water, Southern Water and South East Water.

The Environment Agency (EA) put several England regions into “drought” last week, reflecting what Thames Water has called “unprecedented weather conditions”.

Parts of the UK have faced heavy rain and flooding over the last two days, with London one of those impacted by the Met Office’s thunderstorm warning.

However, the EA has said it will take weeks of rain to end the drought.

In a statement on its website, Thames Water said the recent weather conditions have resulted in the highest demand for more than 25 years, with 2.9 billion litres of water supplied per day to customers across the region.

This has seen the River Thames reach its lowest level since 2005 and a drop in reservoir levels in the Thames Valley and London.

Domestic customers should not use hosepipes for cleaning cars, watering gardens of allotments, filling paddling or swimming pools, or cleaning windows, the EA said.

The hosepipe restrictions are part two of Thames Water’s drought plan, with part one including attempting to reduce leaks and encouraging customers to use less water.

The company claims to have reduced leakage by more than 10 per cent over the last three years, meeting the target set by regulator Ofwat.

It said it currently fixes more than 1,100 leaks a week, and in the next three years, intends on spending £55 million to further reduce leakage, and £200m replacing water mains.

Sarah Bentley, Thames Water chief executive, said: “Implementing a temporary use ban for our customers has been a very difficult decision to make and one which we have not taken lightly.

“After months of below-average rainfall and the recent extreme temperatures in July and August, water resources in our region are depleted.

“Despite investing in the largest leakage reduction programme in the UK, customer demand is at unprecedented levels and we now have to move into the next phase of our drought plan to conserve water, mitigate further risk and futureproof supplies.”