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1 June 2012, Turf and Landscape specialists look at water efficiency

Landscape and Turf Bodies seek to enshrine water efficiency credentials

As a result of the recent positive engagement with the water industry over Temporary Use Bans, landscape and turf professional bodies are committed to embedding best practice on water efficiency amongst their members.

On 21 May, the seven water companies with Temporary Use Bans in place announced an exemption for members of professional landscape and turf bodies. This followed the record rainfall in April which had created sufficient headroom in water resources to allow the professional concession. This was of great relief to the industry, which had already seen a negative impact following the introduction of the bans.

The industry groups are currently surveying all members to more accurately capture the commercial impacts across the entire sector. However, initial feedback from turf growers demonstrates significant loss of earnings. Those questioned by the Turfgrass Growers Association have reported lost sales of between 25% and 40%, compared to the same time period last year, with some companies estimating a fall of up to 60% of sales within the affected regions.

The concession was granted partly because of the Codes of Practice drawn up and promoted by industry bodies to ensure their members use the minimum amount of water necessary, and as wisely as possible. In the most recent meeting with the water industry on 29 May, the professional bodies shared a proposal to embed best practice on water use by creating a training programme around water efficiency. The initial concept is to create an e-learning programme with input from independent experts on water-efficient techniques and equipment. This would both enshrine water efficiency within individual companies, and provide for greater water sustainability for the industry as a whole. The landscape and turf group will now work up a more formal proposal, and seek feedback from the water industry and from Waterwise, the water efficiency organisation.