Checklist: Preparing Water Utilities for a Drought



Take action before a drought occurs to make sure your system is prepared to beat the heat.

  • Monitor local and regional drought conditions through state drought status information.

  • Update emergency response plan (ERP) and keep emergency contact information current.

  • Conduct table-top training exercises to brief staff on all response and recovery procedures.

  • Develop action plan to restore service to priority customers (e.g. hospitals) first in case of service disruptions.

  • Review drought contingency plan and update source trigger levels.

  • Identify largest water users and document usage patterns to determine the most effective conservation practices.

  • Review historical drought records to assess past frequency and intensity of drought events.

  • Seek technical assistance programs such as source water protection program.

  • Develop predictive water use models to assist in locating new sources of supply.

  • Establish or participate in existing groundwater and watershed monitoring networks.

  • Join Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (WARN).

  • Coordinate with neighboring water systems to develop a regional water use plan.

  • Connect with community leaders and high water-use organizations to establish drought and conservation implementation measures.

  • Establish connections with local emergency management agency (EMA) and sign up for alerts.

  • Develop public outreach materials to provide to customers during an emergency.

  • Create programs to encourage customers to conserve water throughout the year, such as rebate programs, home retrofit kits, and water conservation classes.

  • Conduct a water audit to detect and repair leaks throughout the distribution system.

  • Document pumping requirements and storage capabilities and critical treatment components and parameters.