The hosepipe ban imposed on seven million homes in the North West is likely to stay in place for the rest of the summer - despite the torrential downpours and floods which have swamped the region for weeks.
United Utilities said reservoirs in Cumbria and Lancashire were still too low to lift restrictions imposed last month after the unusually dry start to the year.
The warning came after the Met Office revealed that July was the wettest month of the year so far for the whole of the UK - and predicted that the rest of the summer would see mixture of sunshine and showers.
Despite parched conditions in the South of England, parts of the North of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland had twice the normal rainfall for the time of year.
The hosepipe ban was introduced in July after reservoirs and rivers in the Lake District and Pennines fell to alarmingly low levels.
The ban was the first in the region for 14 years and followed the driest January to June in 74 years.