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Last Updated: Wednesday July 07 2010 14:32 GMT

Hosepipe ban in northwest England

Hosepipe

People living in north-west England are facing a hosepipe ban for the first time in 14 years.

It means that from 6am on Friday, no-one will be able to use their hosepipes or sprinklers to do things like water the plants or wash the car.

The first six months of 2010 have been some of the driest ever for the region, resulting in a water shortage.

But it was only in November that heavy rain caused massive floods in Cumbria, affecting hundreds of homes.

The ban has come from United Utilities, the company that gets water to people's homes in north-west England.

Water levels in a few parts of the region are okay, so they'll escape the ban. Those places are Carlisle, Allerdale, Copeland and the north Eden Valley.

Anybody caught using a hosepipe or sprinkler during the ban could be forced to pay a fine of up to £1,000.