Policy manager Gary Scroby said water companies were careful about getting involved but the HTA had discussed the problem of sudden introductions of bans through the Water- wise organisation.
"The scheme is a trafficlight system whereby you have a pre-emptive phase before restrictions are imposed on gardeners. It's about our garden centre members communicating to them that they need to be aware of the water shortages and as they move through escalating phases they will be encouraged to use more water-restriction products.
"The hope is that we can show the water companies that by communicating with gardeners in that manner supply and demand begin to taper off and they won't reach the point whereby they have to impose a hosepipe ban."
The scheme could be piloted in two yet-to-beannounced water company areas beginning from the end of next month.
See Reader Panel, p20.