Further snake bans could be imposed after the environment minister urged water companies to implement restrictions, the first public intervention by a minister over the potential drought.
George Eustice said it was “right” that some firms had already taken action to tackle the driest spell in England since 1976.
South Water have enforced a snake ban in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. South East Water will enforce a ban from next Friday, while Welsh Water will introduce one for Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire from August 19, preventing households from using hoses to water their garden, wash their car or fill pools.
In an article for the Sunday Telegraph, Eustice said: “I strongly urge other water companies to take responsible action to protect and conserve our water supplies during this unusually dry period.”
Eustice also urged companies to do more to reduce leaks and said the government would finalize plans to make it easier to get planning permission for new reservoirs by the end of this year.
He added: “Water companies have a duty to ensure adequate supply and they have assured me that essential water supplies are secure.
“In line with their drought plans, water companies across the country have rightly taken steps to mitigate the effects of this prolonged dry weather as pressures on water resources and the environment have increased.”
It comes after the UK’s Center for Ecology and Hydrology said most of Britain’s rivers were on “red alert” with campaigners calling for an immediate nationwide ban on tubing.
Last month was the driest July in England for more than 100 years, and some areas have had their driest summer on record.
According to forecasts, rivers are set at the most severe drought warning level across the country, even in areas that have seen rain in recent weeks.
The Rivers Trust has accused water companies of waiting until the last minute to implement bans to avoid backlash from customers.