Thames Water Draft Management Plan


17th June 2013

Low targets on plugging leaks and installing meters could increase risk of reservoir near Abingdon.

Have your say now!

Thames Water has published its draft Water Resources Management Plan for the next 25 years.   A public consultation on the plan is now running until 23 July 2013.

There are worryingly low targets for introducing meters and plugging leaks (see info below) which could make a reservoir near Abingdon more likely in the future.  Please make your views known!

CPRE Oxfordshire will be submitting its own response to the consultation in due course.  Meanwhile however, here is an update from one of our members GARD (Group Against Reservoir Development) with which we concur:

“The thrust of the draft Plan is to make up the very significant forecast shortfall in supply by much more reuse of treated effluent, particularly to supply London. The process will probably involve reverse osmosis (RO) which is energy intensive but 100% safe. Currently there is fairly extensive re-use by treating effluent and discharging and mixing into the Thames before abstraction further downstream and this has caused no problems to date so RO may not be necessary!

In the plan TW say that they expect there will be a need for a major new water resource in the next plan covering 2020 to 2045 to meet the population increase and climate change. This new resource will be one of three options: a reservoir, more re-use of waste water or transfer from the Severn to the Thames. As the essential research has not yet been completed TW cannot state which option they favour, although in all recent statements by their Chief Executive it is clear he wants a large reservoir south of Abingdon. So the immediate pressure is off, but the longer term threat remains almost as great as ever, and GARD with our consultants will be monitoring the research and the situation. It was largely our experts who won the Public Inquiry in 2010. GARD’s detailed response to the consultation will be on our website in due course.

Anyone who wishes to respond independently to the TW consultation can do so. It would help. It is only possible to attack what is in the plan or is missing. The worst aspect is the pitiful level of leakage control stated in the plan for the next five years. Having reduced from over 900 million litres per day  (Ml/d) lost in 2006 to 665Ml/d now, their plan for the next five years is only to reduce it to 620Ml/d (a mere 45Ml/d). They should be aiming at least a 100Ml/d reduction. Furthermore TW do no aspire to any further leakage reductions beyond 2020 in the plan.

TW plan to install half a million water meters raising the percentage of metered houses from 30% to 56%. GARD thinks more should be done in 5 years particularly as the consumption per person needs to be reduced to from 165 to 135 litres per person per day and metering should help.

The Thames Tideway Tunnel which is due to cost £4.1M and add about £70+ pa to our bills hardly gets a mention except in the business plan.

Finally readers may know that there are several planning proposals including one for 30,000 houses on the reservoir site as well as several large expanses of photo-voltaic electricity generation panels. GARD would prefer productive farmland.”

Nick Thompson  Hon Chairman GARD


Responses to the Thames Water consultation can be made on line via

Or by email at

Or by post to Thames Water dWRMP14 Consultations, Facts International Ltd, FreepostHS464. Ashford TH24 8BR.