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

Column 15th March 2023

Time running out for your say on the reservoir

The Thames Water Consultation on their plans for Water Management plans closes on 21 March so you have less than a week left to tell them what you think.

I know I’ve talked about the plans before but it is REALLY important that we tell Thames water and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) what we think.

Responses can be submitted by email to consultation@thames-wrmp.co.uk with a copy to water.resources@defra.gov.uk or by letter to “Freepost THAMES WATER WRMP CONSULTATION”.

The plans are based on the assumptions that the population of the South East is going to grow in line with the ambitious housing plans (including 1 million new homes in the Oxford-Cambridge Arc).

They also assume that people in the Thames valley won’t reduce their domestic water usage to the Government target of 110 litres per person but will still use 121 litres (more than anywhere else in the country).

They also have to meet the Government target of supplying water in a one in 500-year drought – but don’t plan to do that until after 2040.

They say that based on these assumptions they need to start building the Mega-reservoir above ground between Hanney, Steventon, Drayton and Marcham now and to have it full of water sometime after 2040.

They are also talking about putting in a pipeline to bring water from the River Severn but don’t plan to do that until later in the plan.

This is also ‘new’ water to the South East from the West and North of the country where there is higher rainfall and less dense population while the reservoir would have to be filled from the Thames and would therefore simply store what water is available.

The pipeline would be much more adaptable to changing demand, so if their forecasts of population growth are wrong, they wouldn’t have a reservoir that they don’t need.

They admit that a quarter of all the water in their pipes is lost through leakage but have targets to reduce this.

The Government target is to reduce leakage by 50% but Thames Water only plan to meet this target in London, not in the Thames valley. Here they are only aiming for 27% reduction.

We need to tell them that if they reduce leakage to meet the government target, meet the target to reduce usage to 110 litres per day or build the pipeline from the Severn now, they wouldn’t need the reservoir.

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