Much of Kent is set to fall under a hosepipe ban next week – but several towns look set to escape restrictions.
A total of seven areas are set to be allowed to continue to use hoses and sprinklers for the foreseeable future.
South East Water announced the ban across much of the county yesterday following one of the driest summers on record.
A statement on the company's website said the use of hosepipes and sprinklers would be banned from Friday, August 12, and would last until further notice.
It added: "This has been a time of extreme weather conditions across the UK. Official figures show this is the driest July on record since 1935 and the period between November 2021 and July 2022 has been the driest eight-month stint since 1976. During July in the South East, we have only seen 8 percent of average rainfall for the month, and the long term forecast for August and September is for similar weather.
"The demand for water this summer has broken all previous records, including the Covid lockdown heatwave. We have been producing an additional 120 million litres of water a day to supply our customers, which is the equivalent of supplying a futher four towns the size of Maidstone or Eastbourne, daily.
"We are taking this step to ensure we have enough water for both essential use and to protect the environment. This will enable us to also reduce the amount of water we need to take from already stressed local water sources."
However, several areas of Kent are set to avoid the bans – which carry with them threats of £1,000 fines for anyone caught ignoring the rules.
These include parts of the county where households receive their clean water from a company other South East Water.
Affinity Water, which supplies homes along the east coast from Dungeness to Dover, including Folkestone, Hythe and the surrounding rural communities, has pledged to avoid hosepipe bans for the rest of the year but warned that rain would be needed to avoid action in 2023.
A spokesman said: "Rainfall over the last autumn and winter was less than the long-term average, which has resulted in groundwater levels in all our regions being below average for the time of year.
“At current levels, we should not need to introduce restrictions this year, however we are dependent on rainfall over the upcoming autumn/winter period to refill groundwater aquifers for spring / summer 2023 and we are closely monitoring the situation.
“Whatever the weather brings, we always ask customers to help by using less water to leave more in our local environment, such as our regions globally rare chalk streams."
Also avoiding restrictions for now are Thanet and Deal further up the coast, as well as Sittingbourne and the Isle of Sheppey, all of which rely on Southern Water for both waste and drinking water.
The company has had to call in hosepipe bans elsewhere in the country, but have not made the same move in the South East.
Southern Water has been contacted for comment.