Drought Plan
Our Current Drought Plan

Our Drought Plan identifies how we intend to manage a future drought. It identifies what measures are available to reduce demand and support supplies and what triggers can be used to identify when actions are required. The Plan also outlines how we will communicate with our customers during a drought.


Our current Drought Plans for our Northumbrian Water and Essex & Suffolk Water regions are available to download at the bottom of this page.

Draft Drought Plan 2022 Consultation

We are required to prepare a new Drought Plan every five years and the Drought Plan Direction 2020 required water undertakers to submit a draft drought plan to Defra by Thursday 1 April 2021. 


Following direction from Defra, we published our Northumbrian Water and Essex & Suffolk Water draft Drought Plans for formal consultation on Tuesday 8 June 2021 and would like to invite you to comment on them, deadline for responses is Tuesday 3 August 2021. Both the draft Drought Plans and non-technical summaries are below.

Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, a hard copy of our Plans are available by prior appointment only as follows:


Essex & Suffolk Water: Sandon Valley House, Canon Barnes Road, East Hanningfield, Essex, CM3 8BD


Northumbrian Water: Northumbria House, Abbey Road, Pity Me, Durham DH1 5FJ


Please email waterresources@nwl.co.uk to organise an appointment.


You might like to comment on: 

  • The way we plan to deal with a drought;
  • The way we plan to monitor the environment before, during and after a drought; and
  • The way we plan to communicate with our customers during drought. 


Please can you:

  1. email your comments on our draft Drought Plans to water.resources@defra.gov.uk 
  2. depending on which Drought Plan consultation you are responding to, include the words “Northumbrian Water draft Drought Plan Consultation” or “Essex & Suffolk Water draft Drought Plan Consultation” in the email subject header; and
  3. copy waterresources@nwl.co.uk into the email.


Alternatively, you can post your comments to:


Drought Plan Consultation

Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra),

Water Resources,

Seacole 3rd Floor,

2 Marsham Street

London, SW1P 4DF


The consultation on our draft Drought Plan runs for 8 weeks from Tuesday 8 June to Tuesday 3 August 2021. We will then consider all the comments we receive via Defra and will then publish a Statement of Response which will detail the changes we intend to make to our plan as a result of the feedback we receive during the public consultation. 


Subject to receiving approval from the Secretary of State, our final Drought Plan will then be adopted and published. 


Exclusions on the Grounds of National Security


Under Section 37B(10)(b) of the Water Industry Act 1991, as amended by the Water Act 2003 ("the Act"), the Secretary of State can direct companies to exclude any information from published drought plans on the grounds that it appears to him that the publication would be contrary to the interests of national security. No information has been excluded from this plan.

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