The British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI) has proposed new measures to water authorities operating throughout the UK which will ensure professional landscapers continue to get access to water regardless of project and client.
These proposed measures include;
- Offering recycled water to landscape professionals where non-potable water can be used
- Working more closely with manufacturers of landscaping and horticulture equipment which can help save water
- Giving landscape professionals the opportunity to apply to water companies to request an exemption from temporary use bans for specific projects
On Friday 20 July, BALI’s Technical Officer (Policy & Research), Owen Baker attended a Water UK Dry Weather Stakeholder Workshop alongside water suppliers and trade associations to better understand what professional users can expect in the future.
Water UK are a national membership organisation that represent and work with the major water and wastewater service providers in Britain.
With medium-range forecasts suggesting that the hot and dry weather is expected to last until mid-September, following weeks of heightened temperatures over 25oC, BALI has a responsibility to its members and the industry to protect the needs of landscape professionals undertaking commercial and domestic projects where water is essential for establishment.
BALI is encouraging water authorities to exclude commercial landscaping activities from all temporary bans. BALI is currently in discussion with United Utilities, who operate in the North West of England, to request that the company provide a total exemption from its impending water ban for landscapers operating in the region. BALI has also stressed that landscapers carry out at least 28 days of watering for new lawns and up to 14 days for newly-bought plants, and that availability to water must not be impeded.
Reflecting on the current extreme weather conditions and his subsequent visit to Water UK, BALI’s Owen Baker said: “Two weeks ago the outlook for water resources was looking positive. Despite an unusually long period of warm, dry weather, I suspect we all assumed this summer wouldn’t last for much longer, and our respective landscapes would be watered. Besides, the UK received record breaking levels of rainfall only a few months earlier; surely this would have brimmed reservoirs and groundwater storage facilities? Not the case. Water resources in some areas of the UK have now fallen to levels which require preventative measures, including a temporary use ban in the North West which will come into effect from 5th August.”
He continued “At BALI, we have an obligation to our members to ensure we are protecting their requirements of needing access to water regularly to help maintain the landscape. As a result, we are working hard with water companies and trade bodies to define a new set of guidelines for professional water users working on larger commercial sites and domestic properties.”
A more comprehensive report detailing further recommendations of how you could save on water use, as well as guidelines outlining how to protect professional landscapers has been published on BALI’s website at bali.org.uk/water-update.