London set for hosepipe ban from August 24 — water company

 Thames Water, which serves customers in and around the British capital London, said on Wednesday it had banned customers from using garden hoses from August 24, citing prolonged dry weather.   Britain officially declared a drought in parts of England on the Friday following the driest July in Britain in nearly 90 years, a month when temperatures hit 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit). "With low rainfall forecasts for the coming months, we must move on to  the next phase of our drought relief plan," the company said in a statement posted on its website.   "Everything we do now will help preserve supplies next summer and protect the environment."   Thames Water is the latest of several  in the UK to introduce such a ban, which includes preventing customers from using the hose to water gardens, wash  cars or refill swimming pools. Read more: