There should be no hosepipe bans this summer, water companies say - as photos show full reservoirs after the wettest year on record. The country's largest reservoirs are seen bursting with water following record downpours.

England saw a record amount of rainfall in the year and a half leading up to last month. According to figures from the Met Office, 1,695.9mm of rain fell from October 2022 to March 2024.

It is the highest amount of rain for any 18-month period in England since records started in 1836. And water companies say the levels are in a 'healthy' position with no plans for hose pipe bans.

There are high levels at Bartley Reservoir in south Birmingham, Trimpley Reservoir in Worcestershire and Derwent Water in the Peak District. Also looking full are Carsington Water, Derbyshire, Grafham Water in Cambridgeshire and Blagdon Lake in Bristol.

South West Water said it was "confident" there would be "no need for hosepipe bans in either Devon or Cornwall this year" - even if there are prolonged periods of hot and dry weather.

David Harris, South West Water’s drought and resilience director, said: “While it may seem obvious that recent heavy rainfall has led to increased reservoir levels across the region, over one-third of the additional storage has come from our own supply interventions and customers reducing their own usage. As a direct result of our investments, interventions, the weather and our customers reducing their use of water, we are confident that we are in a strong position to navigate whatever weather we face this year without the need for water restrictions. This does not mean we will stop our efforts there, we will continue to invest and deliver clean water supplies across our region and prepare as much as we can for climate change and unpredictable weather patterns.”

A Wessex Water spokesperson also said there was currently "no prospect of any restrictions" - adding that there has not been "a hosepipe ban in the Wessex Water supply region since 1976”.

Nick Price, head of water resources at South East Water, similarly said it did not expect any shortage of water this year.

Nick said: “All of our raw water resources are in a healthy position at the current time and are slightly above average levels, which is where we would expect them to be given this winter’s record rainfall. As with last year, we do not expect there to be any shortage of raw water available for treatment but with the extended hot periods we have experienced in the South East in the last few summers, we haven’t always been able to treat and pump the water to our customers quickly enough during those periods of very high demand.

“This means that our cleaned water storage tanks are sometimes unable to refill fully overnight. To help, we are about to start a water efficiency campaign with our customers asking them to make one small change this summer, aimed at flattening the extreme demand peaks we have seen in previous years.”

Bartley Reservoir in south Birmingham
Bartley Reservoir in south Birmingham

A Southern Water spokesperson said there was a "very small chance" of an issue in one area.

They said: “All our reservoirs are full and our groundwater sources are at their highest levels for ten years. If we face extreme weather conditions again this summer, like we did in Summer 2022, there is a very small chance we could face an issue in Hampshire, where we take our role in protecting the precious chalk streams of the Test and Itchen very seriously. Although we do not foresee any problems at this time, we will continue to hold regular drought readiness meetings in case.”

Thames Water hoped to reassure customers that the wet weather experienced this winter meant its water resources had been replenished and were in "a good place ahead of summer, with rainfall well above average".

A spokesperson for Thames Water added: “We carefully monitor our water resources, and while we currently don’t anticipate the need for a hosepipe ban this summer, we do encourage our customers to use water wisely as we head into spring. Our reservoir levels are healthy for this time of year with London above 95% and Farmoor at 88%. Groundwater levels are also normal to exceptionally high and river flows are above average for the time of year.”

Welsh Water was also comfortable with its water levels this year - but still urged people "not to waste it".

A spokesperson said: “Our reservoir levels are in the position expected for this time of year and we currently do not have concerns regarding water resources. As we do at any time of the year, however, we ask customers to be mindful of how they use water and avoid wasting it.

"Our message is to use as much drinking water as you need, but please don’t waste it. Customers can get advice on how to use water efficiently around the home and garden from our website."