Dry weather (or a drought) is a natural event which happens when a period of prolonged low rainfall creates a water shortage.
Dry weather can affect water supplies to different users at different times and in a variety of ways:
Environment – rivers, groundwater levels (aquifers), wildlife and habitats
Agriculture – crop production, animal stocks and farming practices (irrigation)
General water supplies – to homes and businesses
Dry weather may have an impact on a large part of the country or it can just affect a few smaller areas.
Human behaviour can also lead to water shortages. If during prolonged dry weather, demand for water is higher than the amount of available water.
Every five years we update our statutory Drought Plan which reviews what we’ll do in the run up to, and during a drought period. Although we published our latest plan in 2019 we are in the process of updating it following recent changes to Government drought plan guidance.
You can view and comment on our latest draft Drought Plan, or Dry Weather Plan as we’re calling it, here.
The consultation closes on 2 August 2021.
Our target for 2020/21 is to have zero customers impacted by a 1-in-200 year drought.
How have we performed?
We performed well under the 1-in-200 year drought scenario and have confirmed our plan will continue to supply a reliable supply of drinking water to our customers.
We are pleased to have maintained strong performance despite the increase in demand due to travel restrictions due to Covid-19.
The impact of Covid-19
During 2020/21 we saw an increase in demand driven by the Covid-19 travel restrictions and the hot weather.
The restrictions meant our customers did not travel as they normally would out of our supply area e.g. commuting for work, travelling to other parts of the country or going on holiday. This resulted in a static population.
The record breaking hot weather also resulted in water use increasing.
Despite this our water resources remained in a good position.