In France, if you have been had, they say you have been rolled in the flour, (se faire rouler dans la farine) or simply rolled. One of the many phrases for getting stitched up in the UK is getting hosed, which seems to me especially appropriate in the case of hose licences. I could never class as anything but fraud, that an outfit can charge you a fee, a "licence" for having and using a hose, on the basis that you use more water, and then ban the use of hoses precisely when you want to use them, i.e. during a drought, to water your garden.
Water shortages are not unknown here in France, but the rules are different. At the moment, we have a light restriction on watering. No-one, not even a farmer, is allowed to water during the day, and this regardless of where the water comes from - the tap, a river or his own well. You're not allowed to water lawns. You can only water after 8PM and before 9AM. This of course is an open invitation to leave any watering system on all night, but on the other hand, it seems fair to me.
I'm slowly getting around to turning my water storage cubes into a useful watering system. I have an electric pump that fills them with water from the well; now I need to put in a system to empty them under pressure, to feed sprinklers. I bought a pump for that the other day, now it's a question of wiring it in, and getting the hoses all into place. Since the surface pump isn't supposed to be run dry, I'll need a float switch as well.
My garden is showing signs of water stress here, and we've been watering every day, at the appropriate times. Some rain is expected Thursday. Fingers crossed.