Water bosses have been seeking views on their plans to tackle future droughts in the North West.

United Utilities launched a consultation on its new Drought Plan to give local people an opportunity to have their say.

All water companies have a legal duty to update their drought plans regularly. The plans set out in comprehensive detail the measures they will take, and when, to safeguard vital water supplies while minimising the effect on the environment.

Depending on how bad the situation was, that could potentially include things like hosepipe bans, drought orders or even water restrictions.

The last drought in the North West was in 2010, when the company imposed a six-week hosepipe ban in parts of the region to help preserve water. It was the first ban the region had seen in 14 years. No further actions were needed.

Dr Richard Blackwell, United Utilities’ Head of Water Resources said that with seven million customers and some of the most precious and protected habitats in the UK, the North West had its own unique issues.

He said: “Despite having a reputation for wet weather, the North West is not immune to the risk of drought. Droughts can happen at any time of year and they’re all different. We have to be able to cope with anything.

“We are quite unique in that 90% of all our drinking water in the North West comes from reservoirs and rivers, rather than groundwater sources. The rest of the UK only gets an average of 60% of its water from reservoirs and rivers.”

United Utilities has already spoken to a large number of specialist groups and stakeholders in writing its plan.

A number of workshops were held across the region for key partners.