Water companies feel the heat as commercial bans loom in dry summer

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Suppliers may be forced to cut large-scale usage by businesses amid fears of a repeat of last year’s heatwave

If water industry bosses think they are having a stinking time of it, they should cast their minds back to when Trevor Newton was head of Yorkshire Water. Urging customers to reduce consumption in balmy 1995, he confessed he had “not had a bath or shower in three months”.

As a bout of sweltering weather grips Britain, with forecasts of a baking summer, there are concerns that a widespread drought and a repeat of last year’s heatwave could force water suppliers to ban certain companies from using large quantities. It promises to be a fresh headache for an industry already under fire over sewage dumping, leakage rates, large dividends, a £10bn customer-funded investment plan and “flimsy” pledges to give up bonuses.

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