A BAN on using hosepipes comes into force across Devon today.
South West Water says the restrictions will help replenish water supplies at Roadford reservoir ahead of the summer.
Water levels are giving the water company cause for concern after last summer’s long dry spell.
Households in Devon are now banned from using hosepipes to water gardens, wash cars or fill pools.
Commercial water users and people who have medical reasons to use water from hosepipes are among those who are exempt.
About 390,000 homes in Devon are affected by the latest restriction.
Customers have been told they can still water their gardens and wash their cars as long as they do it without using a hosepipe and use tap water from a bucket or watering can, or use water that is not sourced from taps such as grey water, rainwater from a water butt or a private borehole.
During the 2022 heatwave, the Environment Agency declared that most of England was officially in drought.
Now only East Anglia, Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly continue to retain that status in England.
David Harris, SWW drought and resilience director, said the ban was estimated to reduce demand by about five per cent.
He said: ‘We understand that our customers don't like these measures... [but] it’s actually the responsible thing for us to do at this time ahead of that peak summer demand.’
Reservoir levels across SWW's network are reported to be 17per cent lower than at the same time in 2022 - some of the lowest water levels in the country - despite this March being one of the wettest on record.
Roadford reservoir, which services Devon, is at about 70 per cent capacity.