Send and publish a drought plan

How to send and publish a drought plan if you're a water company.

This guidance was withdrawn on

Go to Drought: managing water supply which explains what water companies are expected to include in their drought plans and how customers can comment on the plans.


to the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

You must wait to hear back from the Secretary of State before you publish your plan.

You may need to hold a public hearing or inquiry if there are unresolved issues with your drought plan. The Secretary of State or Welsh ministers will decide if a hearing or inquiry is needed.

Publish your drought plan

Before you publish your plan you must:

  • follow any statutory directions from the Secretary of State
  • give yourself enough time to make final checks – this will depend on what kind of changes you need to make and whether you’ve received any statutory directions

You must publish the drought plan on your company website and in paper form. Send electronic copies of the plan to anyone you’ve consulted. Send paper copies if it isn’t possible to send electronic ones.

You should also:

  • make several paper copies available at your main office
  • advertise the availability of paper copies on your website
  • bring the drought plan to the attention of anyone else it’s likely to affect

Revise and review your drought plan

We encourage you to review your drought plan every year, along with your environmental assessment reports and monitoring plan, regardless of whether or not there’s been a drought.

You should also periodically run exercises to test your drought plan. The Environment Agency and Natural Resources Wales perform drought exercises to test their own plans and encourage others to join them. Contact them to find out more about taking part in joint drought exercises.


Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Drought Plan, c/o Water Resources Policy, Area 3D
Nobel House
17 Smith Square


Water Branch
Welsh Government
Cathays Park
CF10 3NQ


Environment Agency
National Customer Contact Centre
PO Box 544
S60 1BY


Natural Resources Wales
c/o Customer Care Centre
Ty Cambria
29 Newport Road
CF24 0TP


Published 20 July 2015
Last updated 7 December 2015 + show all updates
  1. Changes include: asking companies to look at a range of drought events, including a strong recommendation to consider plausible droughts beyond the worst drought on record and explain why if they haven’t; asking companies to consider the necessity for resilience options for events beyond what their supply system is capable of; clarification of our expectations for environmental assessment, mitigation and compensation (particularly with reference to what should happen at each stage ie before, during and after a drought); clarification of our expectations for companies to supply information on proposed drought permits and orders; clarification of what we expect in a monitoring plan; addition or update of links to the latest research or resources; other changes to update wording or references for clarity or to reflect policy and legislative change (ie move from 3.5 year cycle to 5 year cycle)

  2. First published.