Environmental

Water Resources Management Plan

Our Water Resources Management Plan (WRMP) sets out the investment needed to ensure that we have sufficient water to continue supplying our customers for the years ahead.

In the future, we may experience more severe droughts due to changing rainfall patterns and we may need to take less water to help improve the flow in some of our rivers for the benefit of fish and other species that live there.

Our current plan, published in March 2015, covers our approach to manage these issues for the years 2015-2040. This can be found, along with its associated supporting documents, below. The plan details how we will address a forecast supply-demand deficit in West Cumbria, and specific updates on the West Cumbria water supply project (Thirlmere transfer scheme) may be found here.

Our current Water Resources Management Plan (March 2015):

There are both summary and main versions of the Water Resources Management Plan:

The plan has been subject to Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) processes. The SEA Post Adoption Statement describes the way we have taken account of environmental issues and comments from consultees in the adopted plan. This also references the specific detailed reports produced, which are available below:

We completed extensive consultation in developing the Water Resources Management Plan. The Statement of Response describes the responses that were received during the consultation period, and explains how we have taken them into account in revising our plan.

No information in the Water Resources Management Plan has been excluded on the grounds of national security.

Annual Water Resources Review

All water companies are required to produce an Annual Review of the Water Resources Management Plan to ensure the plan remains fit for purpose. For the first time, in 2013/14, we have also expanded the coverage of the report to include an annual update of our Drought Plan as well as our future activities and plans that may influence water resources. We have made this change to consolidate and improve our communication following feedback from stakeholders over the past year. Our Annual Water Resources Review for 2013-2014 is available here:

Drought Plan

Droughts are natural events caused by a serious lack of rain over several months. Around once every twenty years there will be a drought serious enough to need water use restrictions on customers in the North West. Our Drought Plan sets out the actions we will take to protect water supplies should a severe drought occur.

On 13 June 2013 United Utilities published an updated drought plan, incorporating the 2010 drought experiences and new powers for water use restrictions created by legislative changes in 2010. Following discussions with Defra about actions required to protect the River Ehen Special Area of Conservation, we updated our June 2013 plan to include drought options for Ennerdale Water (West Cumbria) together with revised drought triggers for this source. There were no other substantive changes. We published an updated Draft Drought Plan 2014 for public consultation from 13 January 2014 to 17 February 2014 and received 22 representations. On 14 March 2014 we published a Statement of Response showing how we took these representations into account and at the same time published a Revised Draft Drought Plan 2014. Following direction from the Secretary of State, a Final Drought Plan 2014 has been published and made available on this website.

No information has been excluded from the drought plan on the grounds that it would be contrary to the interests of national security. Drought plans are fully reviewed, and publicly consulted on, every 5 years, unless there is a material change in circumstances warranting an earlier review.

The following documents are available to download: