Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water is committed to providing customers with a continuous supply of safe and high quality drinking water. Over the years we have invested heavily to improve our water infrastructure and to reduce leakage but the fact remains that periods of drought still have the potential to impact supplies to customers especially with increasingly uncertain weather patterns.
As a responsible water company, we need to ensure that we are prepared for any drought situations that may occur. Therefore, Welsh Water, as well as all other UK water companies, are required to produce Drought Plans.
The Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water Drought Plan outlines our strategy for managing operations through prolonged dry periods that could result in significant shortages in water resource. Our Drought Plan details how we will define a drought and our triggers for action. Droughts are highly variable and complex events, so we have to ensure that our plan is sufficiently flexible in its range of operational solutions to cope with any potential scenarios that occur.
We have also outlined how we propose to implement new drought powers known as temporary use bans (previously known as hosepipe bans) when required, how we will communicate to our customers prior to, during and following a drought period, and how we will manage any impact that we might have on the environment through our proposed drought schemes. We have prepared our plan in accordance with the relevant legislative requirements including the Habitats and SEA Directives.
We carried out a pre-consultation process prior to updating our draft drought plan. As part of this process we consulted with our statutory consultees, other water companies and provided the opportunity for our customers to make representations via our web site.
We were directed by Welsh Government to publish our draft drought plan and carry out a public consultation on the plan from 5th September 2014. We consulted widely on the draft Drought Plan which was sent to more than 80 organisations. The consultation was also made available on our website. The consultation period lasted for 8 weeks and closed on 31st October 2014. We received 3 representations, from Natural Resources Wales, the Environment Agency and Consumer Council for Water.
We are required under the Drought Plan Direction 2011 to publish a statement of response to the representations made on the draft Drought Plan within 15 weeks of the date we published the draft Plan. We published our statement of response on the 19th December 2014. This document outlines the main areas of comments received on the draft Drought Plan, how we have changed the Drought Plan based on the comments, or if we haven’t made changes the reasons for this. Within the appendices we have included a detailed table listing all comments received and our response to each one.
The statement of response and associated appendices are available to download via the links below:
Welsh Government has now confirmed that our Drought Plan meets its requirements and has instructed us to publish it as our final Drought Plan. The Drought Plan and associated appendices are available to download via the links below: