It’s that time of year again when we start sprucing up our gardens ready to enjoy time outdoors this spring and summer.

But scientists have already warned water shortages and potential hosepipe bans could be on the horizon this summer, even though the UK has experienced “the wettest 18 months since records began”.

This is due to the UK not storing water properly in the winter, the experts have suggested, and factors including “no new major reservoirs built in the past three decades” and “many wetlands being drained and farmed or built on,” reports The Guardian.

Jamie Hannaford, a hydrologist at the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH), told The Guardian: “It was an extremely wet winter, with England seeing the wettest October to February on record (since 1890). Rainfall was at least twice the February average across central and southern England.

“If there is below-average rainfall sustained over the coming months, especially if temperatures are also high (leading to high evaporation rates and water demand), then this could put pressure on water supplies in areas where there is limited groundwater storage, which rely on rivers and reservoirs for water supply.

“In these areas (notably, upland northern and western areas) reservoir stocks and river flows can be depleted rapidly during warm, dry spells in spring, even after wet winters – as occurred in the 2010 drought that followed a wet winter and flooding in north-west England.”

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Professor Hannah Cloke, who specialises in water at the University of Reading, explained: “It is always good for water supply levels to be high as we go into the spring and summer, after a record-breaking wet past 18 months, but it is still possible for regions of the UK to dwindle if we experienced another lengthy dry spell.

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“Unfortunately, these ‘all or nothing’ periods of rainfall we are experiencing in the UK are likely to increase as heat continues to build up in the atmosphere and oceans. We need to realise that our water infrastructure is creaking and required billions of pounds of investment.”

However, Jo Parker, a chartered civil engineer said it’s going to be “difficult to predict what will happen” without knowing what the weather is going to be like later this year.

“The amount of untreated water storage in this country is far lower than we need as there have been no reservoirs built for the last 30 years,” she said.

“Water demand has increased, particularly in the summer, as the population has grown and more people enjoy such things as water features, paddling pools and power washers. Coupled with summer temperatures soaring into the 40s due to climate change.

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“Whilst this has not generally lead to widespread problems, it has required some hosepipe bans (or to use its proper terminology, temporary use bans) and some localised shortages which are often due to bottle necks in the distribution network rather than an overall shortage of water.

“Without knowing what the weather will be like this summer it is difficult to predict what will happen.”

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Scientists have also revealed “the UK is at risk of running out of water”.

Jamie continued to say: “While the UK will see increasing river flows in winter, and increasing high flows during periods of flooding, river flows at other times of year will decline, and the lowest flows experienced each summer will be much lower than they are now.

“Similarly, drought events will become more severe over the coming century. Correspondingly, this will put additional pressure on water supplies during periods when demands are greatest.”

Hannah added: “The UK risks running out of water because our population has grown and continues to grow, our patterns of rainfall are changing due to climate change, and we haven’t yet invested enough in the changes that are needed to plug the gaps.

"We have already seen in some areas what happens when high demand for water follows prolonged periods of drought: the pipes can run dry.”