Drought permit granted - Foremark and Staunton Harold

We want to be sure everyone has enough water over the coming months, which is why on 30th November 2022 we applied to the Environment Agency (EA) for a Drought Permit. The drought permit was granted on the 19th of December 2022.

The Drought Permit will allow us to increase the amount of water we can pump this winter out of our Foremark and Staunton Harold reservoirs near the River Dove. This will help preserve everyone’s water supply and allow other reservoirs, such as Derwent Valley and Charnwood reservoirs (Cropston and Swithland), to refill over the coming months.

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?

We’ve seen some rain recently, but this has come after one of the driest six months since 1850. During the summer 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 had an impact on our reservoir levels. While they are recovering, we need to plan for next year and the medium-range forecasts are still looking dry. Our stocks are still currently lower than normal at Derwent Valley and Charnwood due to the very dry summer and early autumn.

At the same time, the recent rainfall has also helped increase flows in rivers, which means we are able to keep pumping water into our reservoirs from the River Dove.

Why do this now?

We expect the reservoirs to remain within their historical levels while the permit is in place, so there should be little impact on the environment. You may notice the levels being a little lower than normal across the spring, but we aim to have them back up to normal before the summer.

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