Thames Water held two community exhibitions, one on November 10th at East Hanney War Memorial Hall and the other on November 15th at Steventon Milton Hill House, to present their plans for a new reservoir near Abingdon. These events followed the release of Thames Water’s revised draft Water Resources Management Plan in August.
The proposed reservoir was the exhibition’s primary focus. There was no mention of alternative options such as the River Severn transfer scheme, which was promoted on banners displayed around the proposed site by the Group for Action on Reservoir Development (GARD).
The proposed reservoir would have a capacity of 150 million cubic meters, an option that Thames Water had considered alongside a 100 million cubic meter capacity earlier this year. Gard have said ‘Thames Water have ignored criticisms of their draft plans and ‘doubled down’ to select an even bigger Reservoir for Abingdon‘. Thames Water say it will offer better value for money and will provide enough water to supply the Southern Water area of Hampshire. The reservoir would take land currently used as farmland and a couple of large solar farms. A copy of the handout brochure can be found at https://camargue-thames-water-wrmp.s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/sro/SESRO+Brochure+FINAL.pdf.
Representatives from Thames Water were present to answer questions. One representative indicated that the reservoir plans are being developed with the assumption that the project will proceed, but that it will still need to undergo public consultation and secure development consent in approximately 2026.