The British government will impose restrictions on bottled water manufacturers on claims that water can prevent dehydration, from next month.

The move comes after EU officials banned water manufacturers from making such claims.

The bureaucrats, after a three-year study, concluded that there is no evidence to prove such claims.

Bottled water producers will now face a two-year jail sentence if they defy the newly formed law.

Reacting to the new legislation, Conservative Member of European Parliament, Roger Helmer said: "This is stupidity writ large. The euro is burning, the EU is falling apart and yet here they are: highly-paid, highly-pensioned officials worrying about the obvious qualities of water and trying to deny us the right to say what is patently true.

"If ever there were an episode which demonstrates the folly of the great European project then this is it."

The NHS prescribes that drinking water helps avoid dehydration, and that Britons should drink at least 1.2 litres per day.

"Of course water hydrates. While we support the EU in preventing false claims about products, we need to exercise common sense as far as possible," a spokesperson of the British Department for Health said.

The Act was signed after two German professors, Andreas Hahn and Moritz Hagenmeyer, who advise food manufacturers on advertising, asked the European Commission for permission to use the statement on labels.

They applied for the right to state: ''Regular consumption of significant amounts of water can reduce the risk of development of dehydration."

The European Food Standards Authority (EFSA) refused to approve the statement in February 2010.

Later, scientists meeting in Parma, Italy, concluded that reduced water content in the body was a symptom of dehydration and not something that drinking water could subsequently control.

Now the EFSA judgement has been turned into an EU order, issued on Nov. 16.