As you may be aware Southern Water put parts of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight under a Temporary Use Ban (TUB, commonly known as a ‘Hosepipe Ban’) to protect water resources for drinking and the environment.
The Southern Water TUB covers various categories which include ‘Watering a garden using a hosepipe’. Note that in law the definition of ‘a garden’ includes ‘an area of grass used for sport or recreation’ (as defined in law).
However, there is a statutory exemption (an exemption in law) from the TUB for ‘Using a hosepipe to water a garden for health or safety reasons’. In this category, the definition of ‘a garden’ includes ‘an area of grass used for sport or recreation’. Therefore, it should be noted that watering areas of grass, which are used for sport or recreation, is covered by a Statutory Exception for health & safety only in relation to the active strip/playing area, not the entire ground.'
So, for cricket that can be interpreted as:
1. Clubs can continue to use a hosepipe to water individual pitches in play or in preparation for play on the grounds of safety.
2. This exemption does not apply to the whole ground as there is a less demonstrable safety reason – so outfields should not be watered with hoses. They should recover once it begins to rain again. Cracking outfields does become a safety challenge but in practice, a hosepipe will not be effective at this scale and would be a waste of water. We shall need to review cracked outfields on a case-by-case basis please, but we should be realistic about what can be achieved in the remaining weeks of the season.
3. This exemption is not on the grounds of ‘protecting the asset’, if clubs are concerned about used pitches cracking and that costing money to repair, then this is not a reason for exemption from the TUB. i.e., this does not apply to squares as a whole just to prevent cracking across the square – it is just pitches in play or prep.