Yorkshire Water has reassured its Bradford customers that it will not follow moves by a Kent company to install compulsory water meters in homes.

The supplier said water-efficiency measures were not needed in Yorkshire as levels were stable.

The assurance came amid a landmark Government ruling allowing Folkestone & Dover Water to install water meters in homes in a bid to cope with water shortages.

Britain faces one of the worst droughts for 100 years after two consecutive dry winters.

Following the ruling other companies were expected to adopt similar measures under water scarcity status, which would give firms powers over supplies and use.

However, Yorkshire Water said it would not suffer from such scarcity due to heavy investment in the water grid system in the past decade, which has enabled it to transport water throughout the region. It has also reduced leakage by more than 40 per cent.

A Yorkshire Water spokesman said: "Water resources in the Yorkshire region are just a few per cent below our expected level for the time of year and, as such, we have no plans to enforce compulsory meters. There are also no plans to introduce a hose pipe ban and it has been ten years since our last one."

The Environment Agency announced last week it favoured compulsory metering in southern England.

But the issue is highly controversial because critics see it as rationing by price.

Labour fiercely opposed compulsory metering when it was in opposition, calling it a "tax on family life".

Water regulator Ofwat encouraged companies to apply for compulsory water meters where they were needed.

A spokesman said: "It's a matter for each company to consider whether it is necessary in line with their water resources and the situation facing them.

"We believe companies should actively consider Water Scarcity Area Status where water resources are scarce."

The Yorkshire Water spokesman advised customers to use water wisely at all times throughout the year.

He said: "Replace washers on dripping taps, use a bucket of water rather than a hose pipe to wash a car, don't leave the tap running when brushing your teeth and take a shower rather than a bath."