Respects paid across Herts, Beds, Bucks and Northants after the death of Nelson Mandela
Hosepipe Ban To Be Lifted
Three water companies - Anglian Water, Thames Water and Southern Water - are going to lift their hosepipe bans following the heavy rain we've had.
The three companies are going to lift restrictions from Thursday 14 June 2012.
Other water companies though - including Veolia Water Central, who supply water to parts of Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire - say they are going to keep their restrictions.
Veolia say they need to conserve supplies in case we suffer a third dry winter later this year.
Paul Valleley, Anglian Water's director of water services, said: "There's no way we could have predicted it, but in some places we had three times the average rainfall in April.
"Crucially, it fell just within the traditional 'recharge' season - the time of the year when there is less competition for water from the environment, and much of what falls ends up in reservoirs and aquifers.
"Effectively, we had three months-worth of 'winter rain' in April. This was followed by a wet and cool May and June.
"The persistent rain and low temperatures have extended the recharge season into the early summer, and this has made all the difference.''
Anglian Water's supply area includes Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, parts of Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes.
Mike Pocock, Water Resources Manager at Veolia Water Central, said: "The significant rainfall in April and early May 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 affected by the drought.
"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."
Nelson Mandela made an emotional visit to Bedford in April 2000
Four months after paediatric care was significantly reduced at Bedford Hospital, the service that allows children to stay overnight has returned
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