Published on 14 - March - 2012
Drip irrigation methods approved by water companiesThe Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) and Waterwise are delighted that agreement has been reached with Thames, Anglian and South East water companies to allow gardeners to use drip irrigation during the hosepipe ban.
This news follows the announcement that several water companies - Anglian, Thames, Southern, South East Water, Veolia Central and Veolia South East, Sutton and East Surrey will impose restrictions on the use of water in the south and east of England from April 5.
Talking to DIY Week last month, after it was revealed that parts of the UK were officially in drought, HTA marketing director Andrew said that he was "slightly disappointed" that, despite plenty of dialogue with Defra over the years, the association had not made as much progress as hoped in getting alternative measures to hosepipe bans agreed. He added that the HTA had hoped to get drip feed irrigation systems allowed under the regulations but that it looked as though it had run out of time this year.
It is little surprise then that the latest announcement is welcome news for the industry. The HTA has, in fact, been lobbying for some time for the introduction of a phased approach to water restrictions rather than blanket hosepipe bans. This will continue into the future, said the association, although it is recognised that 2012 is an extreme year where it has been necessary to bring in water restrictions early in the season.
HTA director of business development Tim Briercliffe commented: "We are delighted that Thames, Anglian and South East Water have taken on board the garden industry's concerns by allowing drip irrigation to be exempt from the restrictions. This is subject to confirmation following the consultation period on the water companies' plans. This is a great win for gardeners and the industry and is a massive step forward from the position in 2006 where blanket hosepipe bans had a huge and costly impact on both. This is a significant result and follows several years of lobbying and relationship building with water companies."
He added: "This will allow the nation to keep on gardening this spring and summer and we are pleased that the water companies recognise this. There are, however, a few water companies who have not yet agreed to allow drip irrigation and we will be making our case to them over the next week, encouraging them to follow suit for these reasons and for consistency of message to the nation's 20 million gardeners."
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