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This website has been created using the best information available to GARD at the time of its compilation. The opinions expressed are based on GARD’s perception of the issues involved and the stance taken by Thames Water.



How to Help GARD...



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Here is some of the information from the meeting. 'Click' to access the documents

  • Use our point by point guide to filling in the WRSE consultation

  • Contact your Councillor or MP

  • Myths and Facts concerning the reservoir

  • A map of the reservoir and local villages

  • Population estimates ONS vs Water Company
  • Environmental Costs
  • Carbon Costs
  • Chalk Stream Protection
  • Flood Risk
  • Leakage and Water Wastage
  • StorageTank NOT a Reservoir
  • Adaptable Planning
  • Water Transfer for Profit
  • Other Schemes

    Water Resources South East Launch Draft Regional Plan for Consultation
    Reservoir a key part of the plan for 2025-2040

    Water Resources South East (WRSE)

    WRSE is the grouping of 7 water South-East Water Companies – major partners in this are Thames Water and Affinity Water.

    WRSE Launched their draft Plan for the South-east water supplies for the period 2025 – 2100. It is now open to public consultation. You can find the draft plan details and how to respond at https://wrse.uk.engagementhq.com/the-proposed-solution

    What’s the bottom line for the Oxfordshire Area?
    The Abingdon Reservoir is chosen in the only scenario to 2040 that WRSE have considered. Once again, they have put forward a poorly-justified and in many ways illogical, plan.
    If the plan were approved, a start would be made in 2025, and the reservoir would be filled from 2037 to 2039 and be ready for 1/1/2040. Once again this shows how long the delivery of a reservoir the size of Abingdon would be.

    The draft Plan is poorly-justified and picks a poor option to solve the water problems.

    Basically, GARD’s expert studies show that:

    1. WRSE have overestimated the water shortage by 2040 and, even more so, by 2060.

    2. They have done this by taking an extremely high population and housing growth scenario, which is disproved by latest Government official statistics.
      In addition, whilst they plan to take less water from vulnerable environments like Chalk Streams (something GARD has always supported), they over-estimate the shortfall in water resources that these measures will bring.

    3. The combined effect of this is that their plan gives them a very large water-surplus in 2040, equal to more than 2 Abingdon reservoirs!

    4. WRSE’s plan starts the Reservoir as soon as possible, yet arbitrarily delays the start on the project to transfer water from the Severn to the Thames until well into the 2030s.
      This is in spite of the fact that the Severn-Thames Transfer (STT) could, if started in 2025, be available 6 years earlier than the Reservoir, to give earlier resilience against drought and earlier relief for the Chalk Streams. This is why GARD has long advocated the STT, and the reasons for preferring it are the same now as they have been since the 2010 Public Inquiry rejected the Reservoir.

    5. In addition, WRSE, whilst tackling leakage, propose to do the minimum required by the Government. They must do more to tackle leaks.
      Their plan will still leave Thames Water with the worst leakage rate in 2050. Bringing Thames Water’s leak rate down to the average of other companies in 2045 would provide the extra water on its own to save the Chiltern Chalk Streams!

    The  attached Documents set out GARD’s views on the Reservoir issue as currently proposed.
    These lead us still to oppose this unnecessary ‘vanity project’ which will blight the lives of local residents for over a decade and leave us with a permanent ‘blot on the landscape’.

    The overwhelming majority of local Parish Councils oppose the Reservoir scheme, and the Oxfordshire County Council and Vale of the White Horse District Council have both unanimously committed to oppose the plan.