Tim Briercliffe, HTA Director of Business Development, said, “We welcome the fact that United Utilities is now open to holding discussions with the gardening industry. However, we remain concerned that we were not approached earlier in the process.
“We have been advocating the phased introduction of a hosepipe ban. This involves the use of drip irrigation, evening watering and watering on alternate days with a hosepipe ban being the final option. It also involves consultation with the widest possible group of stakeholders to ensure that clear advice is communicated to all customers affected via nurseries and retailers.
“We recognised the importance of saving water and encourage our members to do so but the introduction of a blanket ban on hosepipes with no phased lead-in is likely to discourage gardeners and be detrimental to nurseries and growers.”
He added, “We intend to work with United Utilities and the rest of the water industry to develop an approach to a hosepipe ban which would save water while having less of an impact on gardeners.”
While the Flood and Water Management Bill 2010 was going through Parliament earlier this year the Government acknowledged that a code of practice on the implementation of a hosepipe ban which involves the water industry and wider stakeholders should be developed which takes into account the needs of gardeners and the horticulture industry.