A HOSEPIPE ban will be enforced across Surrey from next month after two unusually dry winters left reservoirs, aquifers and rivers below normal levels.
Since October 2010, the South East has received just 80 per cent of expected rainfall.
The drought conditions have prompted local supplier Sutton and East Surrey Water (SESW) to impose the ban from April 5.
SESW operations director Mike Hegarty said: "We very much regret having to impose this domestic hosepipe ban but we have no choice if we are to protect the best interests of all our customers by ensuring the long-term security of their water supply.
"We must be mindful of the possibility – albeit unprecedented – of a third dry winter.
Businesses will still be able to use hosepipes, but Mr Hegarty said: "We are appealing to commercial users to please use water with extra care.
"We are making the announcement now to ensure everyone knows about the ban before Easter and the gardening season gets fully under way."
The last time the company imposed a ban was in 2005/6.
Mr Hegarty added. "Our customers responded magnificently. Demand for water went down significantly, enabling us to manage resources and not have to introduce draconian measures. We are sure customers will respond in a similar way this time."
Garden advisor Claire Brown, of Plant Passion in Horsley, said: "It should not affect anybody if they have had their garden designed properly.
"The main reason people use hosepipes is to water their lawns, but actually that is not healthy for the grass. Lawns can survive for a long time without water, and then they only need a watering can full, not a sprinkler or a hosepipe."
Dorking resident Ronan Byrne said: "Well we knew it was coming for a couple of months, so it's probably better that it comes into place early when there is water still to manage than when all our water resources are gone."
Call SESW on 01737 772000 for more information.