Droughts are naturally occurring events that occur when there is below average rainfall for prolonged periods of time. We need plans to manage our system when droughts happen.
The Water Act (2003) made it a statutory requirement for water companies to produce and maintain a Drought Plan. We update these plans every five years. Our Drought Plan sets out how we will manage our resources and supply system in dry years, to maintain our service to our customers.
In February 2014 we published a Drought Plan to cover the period 2014 - 2019. As part of the five yearly cycle of updating these plans we submitted our draft Drought Plan for 2019-2024 to Defra in March 2018. Defra gave us permission to publicly consult on this draft plan on 16 May 2018.
We have published a Statement of Response to the feedback we received from stakeholders on our draft Drought Plan.
The hot and dry weather event of 2018-2019 highlighted that there are new drought management actions that should be included in our new Drought Plan (2019-2024). After consulting with Defra and the Environment Agency, we will be producing a revised draft Drought Plan to include our learnings from this. We will be re-consulting with stakeholders on the revised version by winter 2019-2020.
We also undertook a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), a Water Framework Directive assessment and a Habitats Regulation Assessment (HRA) of our draft 2019 - 2024 Drought Plan to take environmental impacts into account.
To request copies of the WFD and HRA assessment reports please contact us.