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Our drought plan

Our 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 such as 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.

Thames Water started updating its Drought Plan in 2016 and submitted its draft Drought Plan to Defra on 14 Oct 2016. Following a 6 week public consultation on the draft Plan between 6th January and 17th February 2017, we produced a revised draft Drought Plan taking into account, where appropriate, the comments received. The Statement of Response sets out how we have responded to the comments received and confirms the changes that have been made to the draft Plan. Where no changes have been made, the reasons for this are explained. This document became our revised draft Drought Plan.

Defra reviewed our revised Plan and required us to make additional changes to clarify the status of our strategic drought schemes and outline our plans for managing a very severe drought.

Defra confirmed on 4th May 2020 that our Plan meets its requirements and has instructed us to publish it as our Final Drought Plan 2017, together with the supporting documents. We have added an addendum to this plan to take account of notable changes that have occurred since 2017.

National security

With respect to National Security, Thames Water has followed guidance outlined in Defra SEMD Advice Note AN/11 Ed3: The Control of Sensitive Water Company Security Information. AN11 states that certain information ‘must not’ be published and covers information that would be of interest to terrorists or those with malicious intent because it provides useful targeting information.

The appendices relating to the detailed Environmental Assessment Reports (EARs) and preliminary Environmental Assessment Reports (pEARs) for drought permit options across our Water Resource Zones are not available online, but are available to view at our head office. These reports contain detailed site specific operational information, maps and grid references as by its very nature the environmental impact assessment work has to be detailed and site specific.