Petition launched to stop Thames Water’s costly mega-reservoir. PLEASE SIGN & SHARE.

Reservoir Petition cover March 24

25th March 2024

Secretary of State called on to prevent next big water company scandal

A petition has been launched this week to stop Thames Water’s costly Abingdon mega-reservoir and force the company to focus on fixing its leaks instead.


Please sign & share!

CPRE Oxfordshire and GARD (Group Against Reservoir Development) are calling on the Secretary of State for the Environment to intervene to stop the reservoir from becoming the next big water company scandal.

Thames Water leaks over 600 million litres of water per day. Instead of focusing on fixing this they want to build a destructive £2billion pound mega reservoir, paid for by us, its customers.

Professor Richard Harding, Chair, CPRE Oxfordshire said: “The decision on the reservoir now lies with the Secretary of State, Steve Barclay.  We need him to know how seriously he must take this issue.  We urge all Oxfordshire residents, all Thames Water’s customers and anyone concerned about a secure and sustainable future water supply to sign the petition.”

GARD Chairman Derek Stork said: “The reservoir could only replace a fraction of the water Thames Water loses through leaks and, studies show, it would be unlikely to provide water in droughts.

“By ignoring and not costing major issues such as flooding and safety, Thames Water has grossly under-estimated the cost of the reservoir in itsaim to promote it over more sustainable options such as fixing leaks, water transfer and desalination. They have a perverse incentive because Ofwat’s rules mean a reservoir would be an asset on their balance sheet, whereas fixing leaks would only be a cost.

“Alternative solutions would be more reliable in droughts and much quicker to implement. Options like water transfer from the Severn would prevent unnecessary continued damage to our chalk streams and hose pipe bans for at least 7 years before the reservoir can possibly be delivered.”

Those that have looked in detail at the proposals – including local MPs and Councils of all political persuasions – all conclude that it is a deeply flawed project that is being driven by commercial ambition rather than what is best for a safe and secure future water supply.

CPRE Oxfordshire and GARD have been campaigning on this issue for well over a decade, with Thames Water ignoring the outcome of a previous Public Inquiry which found against the reservoir.   However, a decision from the Secretary of State is now potentially imminent.

Professor Harding said: “We think crunch time is approaching, so we hope that people will be quick to sign the petition and let their views be known.”