Our drought plan
Our Drought Plan sets out how we will manage our water resources during future dry years in order to ensure that essential public water supplies are maintained.
The Drought Plan identifies the supply and demand management options available to us and the triggers for different levels of action. In addition, the plan sets out how we will minimise the environmental impact of our actions, and how we will communicate with our customers and our regulators during a drought. The Plan was published on this web page on 18th February, 2013, and can be accessed as a pdf file in the download section.
The Drought Plan is a statutory document, which means that it has undergone public consultation and has the approval of the Secretary of State (Defra). You can download a copy of our current drought plan here.
We review our drought plan every three years and published a draft of our up-dated version here in January 2012. There followed an eight week consultation period, in which organisations and the public were invited to make any comments on the draft plan to Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs).
We explained what changes we had made to our plan as a result of comments received during the consultation period in our initial Statement of Response published in April 2012.Further information on changes to the environmental monitoring we may need to do if we put into place any drought permit schemes was published in November 2012. Defra has now approved the changes to the draft plan and the Drought Plan 2013 is published here.
How we deal with droughts
At South Staffs Water we are proud to be able to say that we haven't had a hosepipe ban since the drought of 1976. But, if that situation occurred again, we would have to work to maintain a healthy supply of water to our customers while also protecting our water sources for the future.
We are given the power to impose hosepipe bans on our domestic customers, and bans on other non-essential uses of water among our commercial customers, through statutory orders. If we have to bring in a hosepipe ban, this is the list of things you wouldn't be able to use a hosepipe or sprinkler at home for:
- Watering a garden or allotment
- Cleaning a private motor vehicle or leisure boat
- Filling or maintaining a domestic swimming or paddling pool
- Drawing water for recreational use
- Filling or maintaining an ornamental pond (not containing fish) or fountain
- Cleaning walls, windows, paths, patios or other artificial outdoor surfaces.
There are plenty of ways you can help to cut your use of water in the home, such as:
- Using washing up and vegetable peeling water for your garden watering
- Only putting on the washer or dishwasher for full loads
- Using the shower instead of taking baths
- Switching off the tap while cleaning your teeth
- Keeping a bottle of water in the fridge for cold drinks, rather than running the tap until it's cold
- Getting dripping taps fixed.
For businesses, the activities below are considered non-essential, and therefore, you wouldn't be able to do them during a ban:
- Watering of outdoor plants on commercial premises, for example, in car parks and driveways as well as in parks and recreation grounds. Garden centres and nurseries would still be able to continue to water stock that is for sale
- Filling or maintaining of a non-domestic swimming or paddling pool
- Filling or maintaining of a pond that is for ornamental use. Aquatics retailers would still be able to maintain ponds and tanks containing livestock
- Use of a mechanical vehicle-washer
- Cleaning of any vehicle, boat, aircraft or railway rolling stock
- Cleaning of non-domestic premises, including washing windows using a hosepipe
- Cleaning of industrial plant
- Suppression of dust
- Use of cisterns.
You could still use watering cans and buckets to do some of the tasks listed above, but we would need your help to cut demand as much as possible. So, if you noticed or suspected a leak, we would ask you to let us know as soon as you could (as we always do).
As soon as weather and demand conditions allowed, we would end the ban, but while it was in place, we would ask customers to think about what they could do to save water so we could preserve stocks for vital needs in your community.
If you want to know more about ways to save water or to order free water saving devices for your business, go to:www.south-staffs-water.co.uk/your_business/water_saving_information.asp or for your home go to: www.south-staffs-water.co.uk/water_saving_advice.asp.
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