Water supply for livestock farmers

Dry weather advice for livestock farms and farmers across our region.

Plan ahead and save water where you’re able to

With little rain forecast for the rest of the spring and into summer, we’re urging farmers to look ahead and plan for the potentially dry summer weeks to come.

With increasing demand on the network, we are encouraging farms to make small changes which can make all the difference, from changing a leaking tap to using rainwater storage bowsers.

If you haven’t yet, think about installing enough clean storage facilities to receive alternative water supplies, such as those delivered by tanker.

Implement the advice you may have been given in 2018

If you’re one of the farmers who was affected during prolonged dry weather in 2018, and you contacted us, we’re currently trying to proactively contact you.

Many farms that sought help during 2018 were given specific advice from our Regs and Fittings teams, or our Customer Contingency team. We hope many you who we consulted with have taken steps to implement the advice.

Get in touch with us if you need help

We’ve taken steps to improve our internal processes, so that our call centre is briefed to help farms if you contact us.

Each farm contact will be recorded, and we will endeavour to get back to you as soon as possible.

Our Customer Contingency team are on standby and fully understand the challenges that livestock farms face in dry weather and the heat.

Fill out our Site Risk form

In the event of any supply interruption we may need to contact you. Please complete the form using the button below with all your details about your farm business, including the livestock you have.

Once completed it makes it easier for us to alert you to any issues in your area, and the information will assist us in prioritising how we can help in your area.

What you should do in the event of a supply interruption

If you do experience a supply interruption, you should:


Identify the source

Identify the source of the issue.

Are you on a public or private water supply system?


Localised issue

Find out if the issue is localised.

Is it just your farm or the wider area?


Contact retailer

Contact your water retailer to let them know, they should also contact us.


Contact our team

Contact our team about your supply

They will take some key information from you and pass this to our Network Control team.



Be prepared to describe your daily water requirements.

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board’s Dairy Water Audit can help you.

We will endeavour to prioritise your farm and get back to you as soon as possible.

Reporting a supply interruption

When you contact our team to report a supply interruption, they’ll need to ask you for information including:

  • Your water consumption and, if you know it, your average daily consumption? This information should be on your most recent bill
  • The number of water meters on your site
  • If livestock are kept on site, and if so, what species, breeds and how many
  • If you can access an alternative supply from a river, stream, pond or lake
  • Whether you have storage tanks or capacity to store water
  • How many litres of water you could store if necessary
  • If there are there tanks for potable or non-potable water
  • If you have storage is it accessible for a 15-tonne tanker, and whether there are restrictions on gate access or concrete tracks

They may also ask for any other information you feel may be helpful.

Steps you can take to help once you have reported a supply interruption

Once you have reported the supply interruption, there are a few things you can do to help conserve what water you are able to access.

  • Try and reduce your non-essential water usage and prioritise water use only for essential livestock activities and hygiene
  • Speak to your farm neighbours to see if there are any opportunities to share or trade water
  • Depending how long your supply is interrupted, you may need to consider alternative options from specialist companies.

Restoring your water supply

We’ll try to restore your normal supply as quickly as possible, in line with regulatory guidance. This guidance requires us to prioritise supply restoration as follows:

  • Category 1 – hospitals and prisons
  • Category 2 – schools, care homes and vulnerable people
  • Category 3 – domestic households and livestock

Alternative water supplies

If your farm experiences a supply interruption, we will try to keep supplies going using alternative methods such as tankers and bowsers, where appropriate, for as long as possible.