The winter of 2016/2017 has been one of the driest on record so far with reservoirs lower than expected at this time of year.
Underground aquifers and many rivers are also below expected levels with October 2016 to January 2017 seeing the least rain since modern records began in 1910 in the UK.
Obviously this winter could still have a sting in the tail and produce more rainfall, but that would still be unlikely to top up water to expected levels.
So will this cause a hosepipe ban in 2017? We think not, as the last major hosepipe ban took place after at least two dry winters. But if summer 2017 is dry, followed by another dry winter, summer 2018 could realistically be a period when hosepipe bans need to be put in place.