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Our draft Drought Plan 2021

What is a Drought Plan?

All water companies in England and Wales are required by the Government to produce a Drought Plan. Our Drought Plan sets out the actions we would expect to take in the event of a drought to maintain essential supplies of water while also protecting the environment.

Depending upon the severity of the drought, this is likely to include a variety of different measures. These can include campaigns to encourage our customers to use less water, temporary use bans to restrict non-essential domestic and commercial use of water, working even harder to fix leaks and reducing water pressure in our pipes.

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How often do we update our Drought Plan?

We produced our last Drought Plan in 2017. We’re required by Defra to update our Drought Plan every 5 years and so we’ve updated our plan to cover the next 5 years. Our draft Drought Plan and accompanying documents can be found below.

How can I get involved?

We want to hear from you. We’re consulting on our draft Plan for 8 weeks from Monday 7 June to Friday 30 July. Your comments should be sent to Defra at Please include “Thames Water draft Drought Plan consultation” in the subject header.

Following the consultation, we’ll produce a Statement of Response by Friday 17 September. This will set out how we’ve considered the feedback and present the changes made to the draft Plan in response, where no changes are made in response to comments received, we’ll explain the reasons for this. Using these changes, we'll produce our revised draft Drought Plan which we’ll submit to Defra for approval to publish as our final Drought Plan.

Our Drought Plan has three parts:

  1. Drought Plan Summary
  2. Drought Plan Main Report – Executive Summary and sections 1-10
  3. Technical Appendices – These include the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and the Habitats Regulation Assessment (HRA)

National security

We have followed guidance from government (Defra SEMD Advice Note AN/11 : The Control of Sensitive Water Company Security Information) in preparing our plan.

The appendices relating to the detailed Environmental Assessment Reports (EARs) for drought permit options across our Water Resource Zones are not available online. These reports contain detailed site-specific operational information, maps and grid references as by its nature the environmental impact assessment work has to be detailed and site specific. For more information please contact us at

Our current Drought Plan

You can read our 2017-2022 Drought Plan below.

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