BLP fights drought with first order in 11 years

Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has moved to help turn off taps across the South East with its water utilities practice securing the first drought order in 11 years.

The firm, led by water sector practice group head John Hurdley, advised Sutton and East Surrey Water in the drought order application.

BLP assisted the water utility in an application to Environment Minister Ian Pearson and at a public hearing before an independent inspector.

The order allows Sutton and East Surrey Water to prohibit non-essential uses of water in its region, and other water companies in the region are expected to follow suit.

Hurdley said: “[The drought order] provides the company with wide ranging powers to restrict the use of water, so no-one wanted to take the step lightly. The first application during the current drought was bound to be closely scrutinised.”

Sutton and East Surrey Water operations director Mike Hegarty said: “We are facing one of the driest periods in South East England for almost 100 years. By taking action now, we aim to avoid more drastic steps later in the year.”