Drought permits - filling your reservoirs

We want to be sure everyone has enough water over the coming months, which is why on 3rd October 2022 we applied to the Environment Agency (EA) for a Drought Permit. The drought permit has now been granted, but we don’t want anyone to worry, we are not putting in place a temporary usage ban (hosepipe ban).

The Drought Permit will allow us to release less water than normal from our Upper Derwent Valley reservoirs into the River Derwent over the next few months. Keeping more water in our reservoirs will help us to serve our customers in the local area.

There won’t be any changes to your water supply. In fact, doing this should help make sure there’s enough for everyone.  

What’s happened?

By spring this year our reservoirs were full. But since then, we’ve seen the driest six months since 1850. We worked hard to keep everyone’s water flowing, by moving it around the network and fixing burst pipes and leaks quicker than ever. 

Our customers have helped hugely, by reducing their water use. Between us, we’ve kept the water network working through some of the driest and hottest temperatures on record. We haven’t had to announce any hosepipe bans. Thank you to all our customers for helping us with this. 

The situation today

The long dry period has had an impact on our reservoir levels. Whilst we’ve had a bit of rain recently, it’s not enough and the forecast is still looking dry. So, we need to ask you to continue the great efforts we saw over summer. 

Please think about how much water you’re using at home. We’re also doing our bit to help and support people reduce their water usage.

Why do this now?

We decided to apply for a permit now, in the winter months, when the river levels are naturally at their highest so any impact on rivers will be minimal. We will continue monitoring the river to ensure that is the case. 

We’re still hopeful there will be more rain through the winter which will help refill the reservoirs. However, the responsible thing to do now is not to leave anything to chance, and make sure we have plenty of water ready for next summer.

Thank you once again for helping us make the most of our wonderful water.

For simple ways to save water visit: stwater.co.uk/savingwater

Our Environmental Assessment Report appendices are available on request.