United Utilities, which serves seven million people in the North West, say they will have “no choice” but to enforce a hosepipe ban if water demand does not drop in the coming days.
The water company had already asked customers to swap baths for a quick shower, but said it was still supplying 400 million litres of water a day above the normal levels.
Rainfall has not been seen in the North West for three weeks, leading to unusually low levels in reservoirs and underground aquifers.
United Utilities say they will impose a “temporary use ban” – also known as a hosepipe ban – if demand for water and lack of rainfall continues.
The hosepipe ban will initially apply to domestic customers, allowing businesses to continue using water supplies as normal.
A spokesperson said: “The prolonged hot weather means the region’s reservoir stores have decreased since last week, with some reservoirs looking more dramatic than others.
“The reducing reservoir levels are not surprising given the ongoing lack of rainfall and exceptionally high demand. We are managing resources carefully, and our integrated network, which we have invested heavily in, does gives us the flexibility to move water around the region, to reduce demand on those sources which are lower.
“We are still encouraging our customers to voluntarily use water efficiently, by avoiding the use of water hungry devices, particularly outside in the garden. However, if demand does not reduce in the next few days we’ll have no choice but to introduce enforced restrictions.”
Reservoir levels have the total regional water stock at 71.4 per cent – compared to 84.1 per cent this time last year. The main issue this year is the huge increase in demand for water.
Reservoirs in the region are currently at 63.9 per cent – compared to 73.3 per cent last year. Haweswater and Thirlmere in the Lake District are at 57.8 per cent – 79 per cent 12 months ago.
A spokesman for the Met office said: “It is possible we could see some light rain on Monday, but it is nothing substantial and just isolated showers.
“In terms of weather conditions we have got another period of high pressure that will bring some warm temperatures again.
“We are expecting it in some parts for the temperatures to go back up again, on Sunday and Monday we could see highs of 31C to 32C in some places.
“In the north west there will be no significant rainfall over the next week. The conditions that are building over the weekend look to remain the same for the end of the next week.
“There might be some relief the following week. It looks like conditions in the Atlantic might start to signify an early change, but we don’t know yet if it will amount to anything meaningful yet.”
A Hosepipe Ban is already in place in Northern Ireland and other parts of the country look likely to follow. See our Current Situation page for the latest updates.