Veolia Water announce a temporary use ban exception for gardening businesses.

The significant rainfall and the reduced demand for water due to the hosepipe ban, has resulted in the first positive recharge of groundwater for over a year in the underground aquifers, from which Veolia Water takes most of its water.

The level of recharge achieved so far has been small, compared to what will be needed to restore groundwater resources to normal levels, but it has been sufficient to allow for a limited review of the exceptions given to assist businesses during the drought.

In view of this, Veolia Water Central and Veolia Water Southeast are announcing that from today, businesses whose income is solely dependant on turf laying and planting will be able to use the minimum amount of water necessary to preserve new gardens, lawns and plants for a period up to 28 days.

Mike Pocock, Water Resources Manager of Veolia Water said: "We are keen to help businesses where we can. Unfortunately at present, we will not be relaxing the temporary use ban further, as we need to conserve our supply of water to prepare for the possibility of a third dry autumn and winter".

"Months of wet weather, particularly during the next autumn and winter period will be needed to restore groundwater to normal levels".

Veolia Water's website contains more information on the drought, where visitors can receive advice and tips on saving water and using water more efficiently, together with free and discounted water saving devices at: www.veoliawater.co.uk/drought

Notes to Editors:

For further information please contact Kevin Barton or Nigel Beaven on: Tel. 01707 277110, email: news@veoliawater.co.uk, website:www.veoliawater.co.uk/news

About us:

Veolia Water Central is the UK's largest water supply only company and is part of Veolia Water UK. We are committed to delivering a high quality water service to all our customers. We provide 870 million litres of water each day to a population of 3 million people, in parts of Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Surrey, the London Boroughs of Harrow and Hillingdon and parts of the London Boroughs of Barnet, Brent, Ealing, and Enfield. Our supply area covers a total of 3,700 square kilometres, stretching from Luton and Royston in the north to Guildford in the south, and from Berkhamsted in the west to Dunmow in the east.

For more information visit www.veoliawater.co.uk/central or follow us on www.twitter.com/veoliawateruk.

South East England is experiencing the worst drought in 100 years. Please help us to ensure that there is enough water for all our needs by using tap water wisely.

For more information please visit www.veoliawater.co.uk/drought