Homes in the county are to be hit with a hosepipe ban for the first time in decades.
The ban imposed by Anglian Water will mean households will be prevented from using hoses for gardening, washing cars and filling paddling pools.
Those who flaunt the measure could receive a warning from the water company and even a £1,000 fine if they continue to ignore the ban. Businesses and other commercial operations are not affected at this stage, but the company is urging everyone to use water sparingly.
Anglian Water is bringing in the domestic hosepipe ban on April 5.
It is the first time the county has seen such water-saving measure since 1975.
It comes as reservoir and river levels continue to fall following the region’s driest 18 months in a century and with little chance of them being replenished this year.
Anglian Water managing director Peter Sampson said: “This is the first time Anglian Water has imposed a hosepipe ban in more than 20 years, but we believe this is the most sensible and responsible action to take to help safeguard customer supplies for this year, next year and beyond.
“Our region has had its driest 18 months for a century, including two dry winters which have robbed us of the rainfall we need to refill rivers, reservoirs and aquifers.”
The company has said people can still water their gardens using a watering can, but not from a hose, and clean their cards, provided they use a bucket.
Mr Simpson said: “Along with lots of rain, what we need most of all is common sense.”
Non-profit organisation National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners is based in Corby.
Spokesman Georgie Willock said: “It is understandable as to why a hosepipe ban has had to be called, as this winter has been incredibly dry but thankfully allotment holders are resourceful.
“Many will have water butts connected to their sheds, others will recycle household water and in some cases local allotment societies will have taken the decision to drill boreholes.”
Kettering and District Fuchsia Society chairman Dave Capps said: “I don’t think it will have a big impact.
“Most members collect their own water and do not grow enough to need a hosepipe.”
Joe Jervis, 82, of Wolfe Close, Kettering, said: “It’s just going to mean it will take a bit more time cleaning the car and washing plants.
“I don’t see it as a problem.”