(Bloomberg) --

A fifth water company is to stop consumers from irrigating their gardens or washing their cars as England struggles to cope with its drought, despite impending thunderstorms.

South West Water Ltd. confirmed that a hosepipe ban impacting people in the Cornwall region and parts of north Devon will take effect Aug. 23.

It comes after a drought was officially declared at the end of last week covering eight of 14 areas across much of western, southern, central and eastern England. Thunderstorms are forecast across much of the UK today but the rainfall, while threatening floods, is not expected to significantly replenish water reserves.

Drought Is Declared in England: So What Happens Next?

The country suffered its driest July in almost a century, while temperatures exceeded 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) for the first time. The previous eight months were the driest since 1975-76, according to the Met Office.

“Due to the extremely hot and prolonged dry weather, we believe the right thing to do is to introduce a Temporary Use Ban,” said Lisa Gahan, a director at South West Water. The decision will allow “rivers and reservoirs to recharge over the winter months,” she said.

Yorkshire Water Services Ltd. on Friday announced a hosepipe ban effective Aug. 26. Thames Water Ltd., which serves the London area, will take similar action in the coming weeks.  

Temporary bans are already in place in Kent and Sussex, which are served by South East Water Ltd., as well as Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, which are served by Southern Water Ltd.

“Isolated intense showers aren’t going to balance the books, and summer 2022 will still remain much drier than average for southern England,” said Grahame Madge, a Met Office spokesman.

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.