‘Ooh, thank heavens they were so ahead of the game,’ says Eva Fletcher, a Warwickshire Water customer, whilst being rescued from her home by dinghy. ‘It would have been like the bloody Sahara round here, if it weren’t for them geniuses. Well done them.’
Mrs Fletcher then engaged in a long slow hand clap.
‘My big fear was that local fish might die due to low water levels,’ sneers Martin Lip, a cheeky beggar from Gloucestershire. ‘Thankfully, my water company must have Mystic Meg working for them. Now, if you’ll excuse me I need to put on my wellies and grab an umbrella, as I’m about to go out and soak up some rays.’
Water companies blame historically dry winters for their decision to impose bans, which affected over ten million customers across England during one of the wettest Aprils since records began.
‘Rainfall, as any fool knows, is entirely predictable,’ explains Marcus O’Dwyer, water resource co-ordinator at Trent Water. ‘It is wet, it falls downwards as a rule, and it eventually stops. Our hosepipe bans are very much based on this sort of meteorological insight.
‘And yet, without wishing to appear overly alarmist, we had envisaged a doomsday scenario in the UK of no rain falling for absolutely ages, for instance, a whole year. What would we have done then? We’d have been stuffed. Imagine, completely uninterrupted cricket!’
However, water companies are now reported to be easing up on the water reserves they stockpiled earlier in the year.
‘There’s no sense hogging it,’ says Terry Delaney of North Devon Water. ‘It’s great to be able to give something back to our customers, so we’re giving them gallons and gallons. Leave your sprinklers running, let it evaporate, spray it on gravel, go crazy.
‘We’re still charging for it, mind, but I can assure you there’s plenty to go round. You could bathe in the stuff.’
Other water companies have also reacted positively to customer remarks with a spokesman for South East Water saying, ‘You want another one, do you? Alright, keep it up and that’s what you’ll get. We’ll hosepipe ban the lot of you, bastards.’