The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) is delighted to see the four remaining hosepipe bans lifted following the latest deluge of heavy rain.
South East Water, Veolia South East, Veolia Central and Sutton and East Surrey Water have removed their temporary use bans with immediate effect, following the wettest June on record.
All four companies are heavily dependent on groundwater resources which provide the majority of their water supply. These were at record low levels following two unusually dry winters, but the prolonged rainfall since April means the underground aquifers are now recovering.
The water restrictions were first announced in April with seven water companies across the south and east of England imposing bans. Anglian Water, Southern Water and Thames Water all lifted their bans on 13 June.
Gary Scroby, Policy Manager at the HTA said: "It is ironic that since the bans were implemented, we have experienced the wettest spring and summer weather in recorded history. We are obviously pleased that there are now no hosepipe bans in place in the UK. We would now encourage gardeners to use the remaining summer months to plant up their garden. It is still possible to brighten up your garden with summer colour and to be water-efficient at the same time".
From the outset of the bans, the HTA had helped secure an exemption for drip irrigation which helped to mitigate damage to the industry whilst promoting long term behavioural change on water efficiency. The HTA is now working closely with other stakeholders to provide the evidence base that this exemption does indeed provide water savings and should become a permanent exemption for future years.