United Utilites hopes that by 2025 west Cumbria will have a new water supply.
It is looking at whether new water sources of water can be found or Copeland and Allerdale could get it's water supply from Thirlmere.
Once they've decided on a new source Ennerdale Water will never be used again. Until then they may have to put up drought orders every few years to minimise impact to the lakes habitat.
“Until then, balancing the water needs of people and the environment in west Cumbria is a bit trickier than it used to be. Luckily, Ennerdale’s lake level recovers quickly from dry spells, so, when we do ask people to save water, it shouldn’t be for long, and probably only about once every two and a half years on average.
“We will be doing our own bit too, by driving down leakage, reducing our own water use and using tankers to top-up treated water storage reservoirs with water from other parts of Cumbria, if we need to.”
– Dr Richard Blackwell, United Utilities’ supply and demand manager