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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.

A person kneeling to water flowers with a watering can

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.

Our draft Drought Plan and public consultation

We received approval from Defra to consult on our draft Drought Plan on 10 May 2021, and subsequently published our draft Drought Plan for consultation on the 7 June 2021. The consultation was live for 7 weeks, closing on 30 July 2021. We consulted with statutory and non-statutory consultees as prescribed in the Drought Plan Regulations 2005.

Our Statement of Response

Following our public consultation, we've produced a Statement of Response which outlines our considerations of the representations received from the consultation. 

Next Steps

Defra and the Environment Agency will now review our Statement of Response. We will complete the updates to our draft Drought Plan and technical appendices and submit this to Defra in early 2022 as our revised draft Drought Plan. Defra will then consider the changes we have made and if satisfied they will direct us to publish our Final Drought Plan.

Our draft Drought Plan

Our Draft 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.

Our current Drought Plan

You can read our 2017-2022 Drought Plan below.