Further talks …..Drought impact

The HTA BALI and the Turfgrass Growers Association held talks with the water industry as part of organisations’ united efforts to minimise the potential negative effects of the hosepipe ban on the landscape industry.
The landscape industry has been calling for an exemption from the ban for professional landscapers, but as yet this has not been permitted by water companies. As a result of a constructive meeting, Thames Water and potentially other water companies, will explore ways to provide access to non-potable water for landscape businesses to help alleviate the immediate repercussions. Longer term, the landscape industry will look to establish a robust evidence base of its use of water efficient equipment and techniques to help demonstrate its responsible use of water at all times.
The water industry reaffirmed the severity of the current drought which has already reached historic levels in some areas. Long term weather forecasts predict that the drought is set to continue over the coming weeks and months. The seven water companies affected had therefore deliberated carefully on the options available to them now. Whilst recognising the difficulty that hosepipe bans would cause the landscape industry, they had nevertheless reluctantly decided not to provide exemptions for professional landscapers to help achieve the water savings they need at this point of the drought cycle. To help mitigate the situation, Thames Water has focussed significant effort on finding and providing access to non-potable water to landscapers in their region and will encourage other water companies to take similar action.
The landscape industry expressed disappointment that no apparent progress had been made by water companies since the drought of 2006 and that the landscape industry had been singled out again for disproportionate treatment. This was despite the inclusion of suggested concessions for the landscape and turf industries written into the water industry’s Code of Practice for introducing temporary restrictions.
Furthermore, it seemed anomalous that the water companies are allowing car wash and window cleaning businesses to continue to use a hosepipe, but landscapers are precluded from doing so to water turf and plants on non-commercial sites

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