WaGCG : Wantage and Grove Campaign Group
Wantage and Grove Campaign Group (WaGCG)

Column 4th January 2023

A dumping ground for a Mega-reservoir

Thames Water’s leakage rate is over 600 million litres of drinking water per day, or about 2 bathfuls per property per day.

That’s nearly twice as much per property as Portsmouth Water or Southern Water.

This is about a quarter of all the drinking water flowing through the Thames Water pipes.

Thames Water is consulting on its draft Water Resources Management Plan 2024. According to Thames Water’s draft plan, they aim to get their leakage rate down to 66 litres per day property by 2050 but they haven’t hit any target that they have produced so far.

In the same period, they want to encourage us to reduce the amount of water that we use from 145 litres per day (a similar amount to everyone else in the South East) to 121 litres per day – when Southern Water think that the usage per person should come down to 106 litres per day.

No explanation is given for why Thames Water customers will continue to use more water.

As part of the plan to increase the supply of water available, they want to build an above-ground mega-reservoir (like a large flan case) which will cover the area of 1,600 football pitches between the A338 and the A34 north of the railway line.

The reservoir would be contained by walls or banks about the height of 7 double decker buses with building starting in 2025.

It would hold at least 100 million cubic metres of water and be capable of providing 185 million litres per day (about a third of the amount lost by leakage).

The argument for a reservoir in this part of the country depends on there being plenty of rainfall to fill it so that when it doesn’t rain, the water stored in it can be used.

Thames Water plans to extract water from Thames and use it to fill the reservoir so that they can pump it back into the Thames when they need it.

This works as long as there isn’t a prolonged drought when the reservoir can’t be refilled.

The water isn’t really for Thames Water customers.

The plan shows that up to 120 million litres per day could flow from Oxfordshire to Southern Water (Southampton) and up to 100 million litres per day could flow from here to Affinity Water (Slough).

So as usual we’re a dumping ground for construction that no-one else wants.

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