Severn Trent applies for drought permit for Derbyshire reservoirs

Recent dry weather over the summer has led to lower than average reservoir levels at the Howden, Derwent and Ladybower reservoirs (pictured). Credit: PA Images

Severn Trent has applied for a drought permit for its three reservoirs in the Upper Derwent Valley, Derbyshire, following what it says has been the driest six months since 1850.

It comes after recent dry weather combined with a hot summer, saw an increase in customer demand and has led to the lower than-average reservoir levels.  

The water supply company says whilst there has been some rain recently, there has not been enough to bring the Howden, Derwent and Ladybower reservoirs back to healthy levels.

Severn Trent says the application for the permit was made to the Environment Agency, during the winter months, when river levels are at their highest.

What would a drought permit mean?

It would allow more water to be kept in the reservoirs rather than release it back into rivers.

It's to ensure if dry conditions continue over autumn and winter, then the reservoirs will be fuller and in a better position for 2023.

The water company have stressed however that a hosepipe ban is not in place and the permit will have no impact on customers.

In a statement, Doug Clarke, Water Resources Strategy Lead at Severn Trent, said:

“Following the combination of exceedingly hot and dry weather over the summer, the levels of water in our reservoirs in the Upper Derwent Valley are lower than average.

"We want to ensure that the network is in a good position going into next year and while we're hopeful that rainfall throughout the autumn and winter will help to refill reservoirs, we want to be prepared if the dry weather continues."

“During the summer, our customers did a fantastic job in thinking about how they use water and we’re hugely thankful for this and it has been a massive help in avoiding any restrictions on water use.

"This permit is the next step in ensuring that we have plenty of raw water available in reservoirs as we go into next year.” He said.

Doug continued: "We will monitor the River Derwent closely looking at how it may respond to holding more water in the reservoirs and can undertake local mitigation measures to adjust releases of water into the river if required.”