Sir: Brian Duckworth, managing director of Severn Trent Water, in seeking to justify the decision to impose a hosepipe ban, says that "brown lawns and dirty cars are a price worth paying" ("A third of population now hit by water supply curbs", 19 August). But what Mr Duckworth fails to understand is that the water needs of gardeners have nothing to do with brown lawns.
No gardener worthy of the name ever wastes water on the lawn, and it goes brown in most summers. The real need is small amounts of water for the individual vegetables and flowers on which many hours of devoted labour have been expended and, more importantly still, to ensure the survival of shrubs and perennials on which a great deal of money has been spent.
And it is no use suggesting the use of watering cans to the elderly, who make up such a large proportion of our nation's gardeners. They simply cannot carry watering cans any significant distance, and so their cherished plants will die and their investment in enjoyment along with them.
If ban there must be, because of the incredible inability of our water companies to manage the resource, it should be a ban on unattended sprinklers. A blanket ban on hand-held hosepipes used simply to carry small amounts of water from tap to plant is a cruel and heartless measure that strikes at the very core of one of our country's most valuable and therapeutic activities. Take away an Englishman's opportunity to grow plants and you take away his soul.
Stefan T. Buczacki
20 AugustReuse content