Drought - water restrictions and hosepipe ban advisory note for cricket clubs

Ecb Logo Gutter Icon 135x160

As you may be aware, seven water companies in the South, and East of the Country (Anglian Water, South East Water, Southern Water, Sutton and East Surrey Water, Thames Water, Veolia Water Southeast, Veolia Water Central) are currently proposing to introduce a ban on the use of hosepipes from 5 April 2012.

Most of these companies are in the final stages of making the exact plans for these restrictions and undertaking consultation with local users. 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).

To date the ECB is hearing mixed reports of the success of clubs securing exemptions and we would be grateful if you could update us of your club’s situation. The ECB itself is making representations on behalf of the sport to both the water companies and to both DEFRA and the DCMS. We are also commissioning further expert advice on the subject and investing in longer term policy advice and facilities that will assist clubs to deal with this scenario.

A brief guidance note of the issues and tips on operating under a ban is available here to download – Helpful tips for Clubs experiencing a temporary hosepipe ban (220 KB)

Advice for multi-sport clubs.

Links to the seven water companies: