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Column 4th April 2018

Your guide to objecting to the reservoir

The reservoir between East Hanney and Steventon is back in the latest Thames Water Plans.

It would be built above ground and contained by walls between 15 and 25 metres high. That’s about the height of an 8 storey block of flats and higher than anything else in the Vale. Even Oxford City has a height restriction of less than 20 metres.

The reservoir embankments would enclose about 4 square miles and be 10.3 miles long, becoming the largest “walled” reservoir in the world. It would be built between 2030 and 2045. 

This proposal is in Thames Water’s draft Water Resources Management Plan for 2019-2024 which is now open for public consultation with until 29th April to submit comments.

Local residents have already expressed their opposition to the Reservoir plan, but the Group Against Reservoir Development (GARD) are emphasising the importance of individual responses to the Public Consultation.

Thames Water are using completely unjustifiable population increase figures for the London and South-East area to argue for a massive water deficit by the end of the century. Their model shows 2,000,000 more inhabitants in the region than government official figures. Not surprisingly this number of people would use an amount of water roughly equal to that supplied by the proposed reservoir! GARD and the Campaign to Protect Rural England are arguing that the figures are bogus.

Moreover, although Thames Water pay lip-service to reducing their appalling water leak record, they do not propose to do any more than the minimum they can get away with under the new regulatory guidelines. As GARD are arguing, Thames have the worst record of all the Water Companies in reducing water leakage, and if they matched industry best practice, they could again save the amount of water per year that would be provided by the proposed reservoir.

So, a double-whammy: a combination of Thames' dodgy statistics and lack of leakage ambition happens to remove the need for more than twice the amount of water from the new reservoir.

To help you in making  a response to the Thames Water consultation, GARD are holding Reservoir Drop-in Information and Response-writing workshops in Steventon Village Hall  on Thursday, 5th April 7pm, and in East Hanney War Memorial Hall on Wednesday 11th April 6.30pm.

You can view the Thames Water consultation at www.thameswater.co.uk/yourwaterfuture, and the GARD website is at www.abingdonreservoir.org.uk


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