Managing water resources
We have a duty to supply customers with an adequate quantity and quality of water for domestic purposes, and this extends to times of drought when water resources may be under additional stress.
Droughts are natural events caused by less than average rain falling over an extended period of time. Our water is abstracted from the groundwater, which relies on rainfall over the winter months to replenish the reserves held underground.
We manage the water available to us carefully, but during long dry periods over many months we have extra options to protect resources and ensure water supplies are maintained. The current water resources position is updated regularly.
Our Drought Plan
Our drought plan sets out how we will manage our resources during a drought, and includes options to increase supplies and reduce demands. These actions are triggered through a drought as it progresses. Our plan also sets out how we will minimise the impact on the environment caused by our actions, and how we will talk to our customers and our regulators during a drought. We review our plans regularly and update our drought plan at least every five years.
The current drought plan was published in 2018, with minor amendments made in 2019 following advice from the Environment Agency.
If there is a particularly dry spell, that lasts for many months or even years, drought legislation can allow water companies to restrict domestic and commercial water usage by not using water for some activities.
Traditionally a restriction on water use was called a hose pipe ban, but the term has changed to 'temporary usage ban' or TUB, as the restriction on water usage can be on lots of different activities, not just the use of hose pipes.
We will only consider restrictions on some water using activities when absolutely required, and encourage customers to use water wisely at all times, particularly when it has been dry as this will help reduce the chances of the need for a temporary use ban. The less water we need to abstract to meet demands, the more water is left for the environment, at all times of the year.
Some ways that you can reduce your consumption