The regulations which affect you
It is your statutory duty as a water undertaker to prepare, consult, publish and maintain a drought plan under Sections 39B and 39C of the Water Industry Act 1991, as amended by the Water Act 2003.
Further information and documentation is available from Defra's water resources and drought website.
When producing your drought plans, you should follow the guidelines and best practice set out in the water company drought plan guidelines.
Once a drought plan is finalised, you should keep it under review and report any changes to us and the Government. The plan must be reviewed:
- if there is a material change to the plan;
- if Directed to do so by Government; and
- in any case not later than 3 years after the publication date of the previous drought plan.
Water company drought plan guidelines
We have worked with Defra, the Welsh Assembly Government, the water industry and other consultees to replace the previous guidelines published in October 2005.
The main areas we've updated are environmental monitoring, drought orders/permits and the new temporary use ban provision in the Floods and Water Management Act 2010.
The draft version is now published and available for comment on our consultation site. The consultation is open for 8 weeks and closes on 17 December 2010. The final guidelines will be published early in 2011.
Current drought plans and future key dates
The process of preparing and publishing drought plans is akin to the WRMP process, where a period of consultation is required followed by a statement of response and then publication of a final drought plan after Ministerial direction.
You will need to start reviewing your drought plans not more than 3 years after the publication date of your previous final plan; this will commence from December 2010. You will have 6 months from this date to prepare your draft drought plan and submit it to Government.