Droughts are natural events caused by a serious lack of rain over several months. In any year there is a 5% chance that there will be a drought severe enough to need water use restrictions in the North West. Our drought plan sets out the actions we will take to protect water supplies should a drought occur.
Following a material change in our West Cumbria Resource Zone, due to less water being available for abstraction from Crummock Water, we published a new draft drought plan. The Draft Drought Plan 2016 was available for public consultation from 3 October 2016 to 14 November 2016 and we received 14 representations. We submitted a Revised Draft Drought Plan to Defra incorporating changes resulting from the representations. The Secretary of State has reviewed this Revised Draft Drought Plan 2017 and has determined that it can be adopted as the Final Drought Plan 2018.
Following the publication of this plan in June 2018 a period of dry weather was experienced, resulting in some drought plan actions being implemented (although no water use restrictions were imposed). We subsequently carried out a lessons learnt exercise which has resulted in some alterations to this final drought plan. These were described in the Annual Water Resources Review 2018/19 (PDF 761 KB opens in a new window) and summarised in an additional appendix in our published Final Drought Plan 2018.
No information has been excluded from the Drought Plan on the grounds that it would be contrary to the interests of national security and no commercially sensitive information has been excluded.