One Week to Help Protect the Vale Countryside


19th November 2018

The consultation on the Thames Water revised draft Water Resources Management Plan runs until 28 November.
Please respond NOW to help protect the Vale countryside.

CPRE Oxfordshire and GARD (Group Against Reservoir Development) are calling for a Public Inquiry to ensure robust and independent examination of Thames Water plans.

Have your say: Thames Water – Shape Your Water Future Consultation Survey

New population forecasts and leakage reduction rates entirely remove Thames Water’s original justification of the Abingdon reservoir. After CPRE and GARD’s earlier work, Thames Water has reduced its population forecasts by 1.5 million people and committed to halve leakage by 2050. The overall reduction in demand from the above changes amounts to 480 million litres per day by 2100. This is more than one and half times the foreseen water supply from the Abingdon reservoir and entirely removes the necessity for its construction.

Thames Water has dropped the Teddington Direct River Abstraction scheme without independent analysis, thus losing 270 million litres per day from the system. GARD’s analysis, by an expert consultant, indicates that this project could be made to work successfully. We are therefore calling for an independent analysis by the Environment Agency before agreement is given to drop this scheme from the plan.

Thames Water claims the additional water provided by the reservoir is needed by other companies in the South East. However, there is currently only one company in the South East region that has expressed any interest in or need for this supply and it would not need the water supply from the reservoir until over 60 years ahead.

Only a new Planning Inquiry can provide a robust and independent examination of Thames Water’s plans. The problems and dangers of the proposed reservoir are enormous, including flooding risk, impact on the water table, lack of resilience to drought and the negative impacts of construction work.
Against this, Thames Water is providing skewed environmental information and a lack of transparency on costs. Some estimates of costs of major projects have changed by as much as 40% over the last six months, without any explanation.  
There is also a systematic under-estimation of the water available from all competing sources to the Reservoir (water transfers, desalination, direct river abstraction, re-use schemes), whilst every attempt is taken to maximise the figure for the reservoir.
Despite the 2010 Public Inquiry’s view that the Water Transfer option should be properly evaluated, Thames Water has still not performed the necessary studies to properly evaluate the supported Severn-Thames transfer options.

It is now essential that, should Thames Water decide to retain the Abingdon Reservoir within its Plan, it should be subject to full and independent examination through a Public Inquiry.  

Support our call for a Public Inquiry and complete the Thames Water online survey.

Read the CPRE Oxfordshire consultation response below.

GARD Briefing Document Nov 2018
CPRE response to Thames Water Consultation 27.11.18