Prioritising Water Use
Do you agree certain essential public water supply uses should be prioritised? If so, what are they? Are there other sectors whose abstractions should be prioritised and if so, why?
Why the contribution is important
There are probably some uses of water most people would consider of highest importance. Public water supply is essential for services such as domestic water use, sanitation, fire protection and other services that protect and preserve public health, welfare, and safety.
Water companies must prepare and maintain drought plans (see the supporting information for more information). These set out how water companies will continue to meet their duties to supply adequate quantities of drinking water during drought periods while protecting the environment. The plans contain a series of trigger points for action by the companies. The actions taken depend on the severity of the drought and include such measures as restrictions on non-essential use.
At the moment there are controls at low flows that apply specifically to certain abstractors:
- Section 57 imposes restrictions on spray irrigators abstracting from rivers and some groundwater; this has not been used often in the last decade;
- About 20% of abstractors have flow cessation conditions (known as hands off flows) on their licences; and
- All other abstractors can have their abstraction restricted by drought orders; these have never been used. People who suffer loss or damage as a result of a drought order are entitled to claim compensation.
by abstractionreform on September 05, 2014 at 10:55AM