There should be no hosepipe bans in the South Hams this summer - after the wettest year on record.

Reservoirs are bursting with water following record downpours - so much so that South West Water is “confident” there will be no need for a hosepipe ban in Devon (or Cornwall) this year.

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.

South West Water says we should escape the draconian banning of hosepipe use “even if we see 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.”

Roadford Lake, which is in West Devon and is a man-made reservoir is the largest area of freshwater in the South West and is the main reservoir for the South Hams.

It is fed by the River Wolf and supplies South West Devon through releases into the River Tamar and is extracted at Gunnislake. 

It has successfully recharged to over 90 per cent storage capacity.

There are also a number of smaller reservoirs such as Burrator near Yelverton which was completed in 1898 and expanded in 1929 with others built over the years on Dartmoor. 

To help maintain strong water resilience for now and the future, South West Water is investing over £125 million to increase resources in Devon by 30 per cent and in Cornwall by 45 per cent. 

All of the plans for Devon have now been completed and are in use.

Roadford Reservoir is now at 100 per cent storage compared with 68 per cent this time last year.

South West Water brought in a hosepipe ban for large parts of Devon in April last year and all restrictions were lifted in September.

When you are watering your plants there are many things you can do to make better use of water in your garden for example: use a watering can instead of a hose, leave plants and shrubs dry until they show signs of wilting, and don’t waste water on paths and patios.