HAMPSHIRE residents have been told to use as little water as possible - after extreme weather caused burst pipes.

The county's supplier, Southern Water, is one of four companies in the UK to issue the warning, following last week's snow and ice cold weather.

In a joint statement with Thames Water, South East Water and Affinity water, it has urged customers who do have running water only to use it where essential.

The companies said: "Where possible, take short showers rather than baths, do not leave taps running unnecessarily and only run washing machines and dish washers when you have a full load.

"This will make a real difference."

It comes as Thames Water said around 12,000 homes were left with no running water following the recent deep freeze and thaw, while several water companies said they were also tackling multiple bursts on their networks.

Companies handed out bottled water to affected customers over the weekend.

Temperatures rose above freezing over the weekend after the Beast from the East and Storm Emma brought a deep cold snap during last week which saw the first day of meteorological spring.

The mercury is predicted to hit 11C (52F) in London on Monday but weather warnings for snow and ice are still in place for parts of north England, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Forecaster Mark Wilson said: "There will be a noticeable change in the weather, it will be less cold and there will be less snow and ice.

"We are now going to see slightly less cold and milder weather, by Monday afternoon the temperature could be in double figures.

"There is a snow and ice warning for most of Scotland, through the day the snow will be restricted to the higher ground."

He added: "We can get these quite abrupt change in temperatures because of a change in wind direction.

"From Monday there will be a more southerly flow with milder conditions."