Is There a Hosepipe Ban?
What is a hosepipe ban?
Water companies have the power to impose restrictions on how households can use water in times of "serious shortage".
Temporary bans can make it illegal for householders to water gardens or wash the car with a hosepipe.
They can also ban people from filling swimming pools, ponds and fountains from the mains supply, and cleaning windows, paths and decking with a hose.
Gardeners can still water the plants with a watering can.
Utility firms are given the powers under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010, which extended previous laws.
They can limit any or all of the activities, all the time or at set times of the day, for as long as they think necessary.
Anyone found guilty of breaking a ban can be prosecuted in a criminal court and fined up to £1,000.
Water companies are meant to cut the following year's bills by a "reasonable" amount to compensate for the limited supply during any ban.
Is there currently a ban in the UK?
While there is not a country-wide hosepipe ban, one has been activated in Northern Ireland - coming into effect at 6pm on Friday, June 29.
NI Water chief executive Sara Venning said: "We have maximised our water production and need customers' help to reduce demand.
"We are asking customers to take heed of the hosepipe ban and stop non-essential water use - using hoses and sprinklers is causing demand to exceed the capacity to supply."
Some water companies have already asked customers to cut back on their use although have stopped short of an official ban.
On June 28, Southern Water asked people to spend no longer than four minutes in the shower.
The firm warned: "With temperatures rising and a heatwave sweeping across the UK, we are hitting peak demand for water.
"Water is a precious resource and it's important that we all do what we can to reduce wastage, come rain or shine.
"This can include simple measures such as turning off taps when you're brushing your teeth, swapping a bath for a four-minute shower and watering your garden with harvested rain.
"This can make a huge difference to water supply levels across the region."
On June 30 both Severn Trent Water in the Midlands and United Utilities in the north west also asked people not to use hosepipes and sprinklers.
Severn Trent said: "We're set for another hot weekend, and, with demand for water really high, we're producing millions of extra litres.
"We're asking customers to be careful with their water and for now avoid using the garden sprinkler or hosepipe."