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

Column 15th February 2023

Consultation closing soon

You only have a few days left to tell Water Resources South East (WRSE) what you think about their plans for building a mega reservoir East of East Hanney.

The consultation closes next Monday 20th February and to take part you can do one of three things:

- Register at https://wrse.uk.engagementhq.com

- Email contact@wrse.org.uk

- Write to WRSE draft regional plan consultation, c/o Adams Hendry Consulting Ltd, Sheridan House, 40-42 Jewry Street, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 8RY.

Please make sure that they know you are contacting them about the WRSE plan.

You can see the draft Plan at https://wrse.uk.engagementhq.com/20131/widgets/57022/documents/33823

Please give them your views, however we believe that the plan is not fit for purpose as the calculations for such things as population increase are far too high.

For example, latest government projections show that the UK population will start falling as soon as the next 10-15 years, so planning for a huge increase in demand doesn’t make sense.

The plan shows that the reservoir would be built first, before things like the pipeline to transfer water from the River Severn.

The pipeline would be much more flexible to changes in demand and changing population need and should be build first before the reservoir given the very large changes in population forecasts in the last few years.

The regulators asked for a plan that could be adapted over time, but this plan proposes construction of the largest infrastructure development (Abingdon Mega-Reservoir) right at the start so isn’t adaptive at all.

The sections in the plan on climate change don’t take into account the full effects of higher rainfall when more water will be available to refill aquifers – these last much longer than reservoirs in dry periods as the water doesn’t evaporate.

Plans for better water recycling and leakage and demand reduction are completely inadequate.

We don’t believe that the plans should assume that people here (in the Thames Valley) will continue to use much more water than those in the rest of the country.

We also don’t believe that Thames Water should be allowed to invest in a reservoir when they lose more water than the reservoir will hold through leakage.

So we wouldn’t need the reservoir if leaks were fixed faster, demand was reduced, realistic forecasts for population growth were used, and more use was made of existing water (like that from the River Severn).

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