While the water ban doesn’t at this stage require the Council to stop watering its parks, we are already cutting back our irrigation and will be looking at other areas where we can save water if the drought conditions continue.
This is a difficult challenge – we want to do the right thing and conserve water as much as possible, but at the same time we require water to keep many sports fields, amenity lawns and plant collections alive.
The fact is without some watering taking place it will have a major impact on summer cricket, the uses of our artificial turfs used for hockey that require water to play, and some of our premier playing surfaces that are used heavily over the summer for training and competition.
The longer term impact of a summer drought on our playing fields will be on the performance of fields next winter. It is a likely consequence of a long drought that we will also have significant additional renovation costs to get them back up to the required playing standard.
Some of the initiatives to reduce our water consumption include:
- Hand watering where practical, and reducing the volume of water we are applying
- Holding back on planned field renovations until autumn, as irrigation would be required now
- Deferring our building wash downs that normally happen at this time of the year
- As much as possible we are timing the operation of sprinklers for early mornings and evenings to ensure the most efficient use of water
- Reviewing the operation and possibly emptying some water features.