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Our Drought Management Plan

In November 2018 we published our new Drought Management Plan, following approval to do so from Defra. We have now published the annual update of this plan which includes amendments to ensure alignment with our draft final Water Resource Management Plan 2019. It also includes where necessary updates in light of the lessons learned from the 2017-2019 drought.

How could this affect you?

Our Drought Management Plan includes the actions we would take to manage the effects of drought on our water supplies. These include demand management actions, when we would ask our customers to use less water, either voluntarily or through temporary use restrictions, depending on the severity of the situation. In severe droughts, we can also apply for drought permits and orders to take more water from underground aquifers where necessary, and further limit what we use water for.

The plan

Please find below our summary document and a full copy of the plan and supporting appendices which are available to download.

Our drought permit Environmental Assessment Reports are available to view at our Hatfield or Folkestone offices by appointment only. If you would like to make an appointment please email

Response to the public consultation

Between August and October 2017, we carried out an eight week public consultation on our draft plan. We are grateful to those who made representations to the Secretary of State on the plan. Our response to these comments is included in our Statement of Response below.

Statement of Response (PDF 3.4MB)

This document details each of the representations made on our Plan, and explains whether we have made changes to the Plan as a result. Where we have not made changes as a result of comments, we have explained why.

Along with our Statement of Response we submitted a revised draft Drought Management Plan to the Secretary of State, and in July 2018 we were given the go-ahead by Defra to publish our Plan as final, incorporating minor changes to ensure alignment with our WRMP19, as well as lessons learnt from the dry weather situation in 2017/2018.

National Security

Our Drought Management Plan Annual Update 2019 has been written in accordance with section 37B of the Water Industry Act 1991 (as amended by the Water Act 2003), and follows guidance outlined in Defra SEMD Advice Note AN11. No information has been excluded from the plan on the grounds of national security.

The Environmental Assessment Reports (EARs) relating to our drought permits contain site specific information relating to our operational assets, so these are not available online. Paper copies of these reports are available to view at our head office in Hatfield on request, and summaries of the EARs are included within the main Drought Management Plan document.

Find out more about current ground water levels

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