Hosing down pavements, roads, verandas, fences and cars could land you with a three-month prison sentence or a €513 fine – or both – the agriculture ministry has warned.

The ministry notes that, due to the prolonged dry season and the diminishing reserves of water in dams, wasting water by the use of a hosepipe was now considered a criminal offence.

The public is called on to save water, as “every drop counts”.