22 March 2012
The ECB today published advice to clubs in advance of hosepipe bans in many parts of the country, extracts of which are below..
They point out that the legislation governing water restrictions has changed in recent years and there is no statutory exemption for cricket clubs or sports facilities other than those who stage national and international fixtures. This means that cricket clubs need to secure an agreement to water their pitches from their water company and the ECB strongly urges all clubs to begin a dialogue with their water company now to influence the final stages of their consultation with local users.
The important factors that the ECB recommends a club includes in its submission to their local water company are:
- The number of members the club has, the fixtures to be played and the role the club plays as part of the local community offering sporting and social inclusion to all including young people
- That the request is for limited watering of the square only, which will take place in the early morning or late evening when watering is most efficient
- That the club is conscious of the need to save water and will work to address this in partnership with the ECB which recently commissioned a report from Cranfield University on this policy measure. If you already have measures in place to save water then please state these.
- That watering the pitch is important for both the safety of participants in the sport and the long term sustainability of the square
- That precedent in previous drought order has permitted limited watering of cricket pitches. The following link http://bit.ly/GGpM3D provides evidence from 2006 when DEFRA approved limited watering only (see para 156).
The full text of the ECB advice can be found on their website here.
A technical paper on the rationale behind watering pitches has also been published.