home link
join us link take action link latest news link contact us link
thames waters plan link
gards alternatives link
bullet WATER RESOURCES
bullet PUBLIC INQUIRY
bullet LOCAL CONCERNS
bullet ABOUT GARD
bullet DOCUMENTS TO DOWNLOAD
bullet LINKS
   

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 with regard to their proposal to build an Abingdon Reservoir. The views expressed in this website, which GARD reserves the right to change ahead of the Inquiry, cannot necessarily be taken, therefore, in whole or in part to represent GARD’s position at that Inquiry;;;.

 

LATEST NEWS

Water Resources South East Plan
slammed by Stakeholders in Consultation (June 2022)

On 20th May, Water Resources South East (WRSE) published the summary and statistics of the Response to the consultation on their ‘Emerging Regional Water Resources Plan’.

There was across the board criticism of the Plan from Stakeholders, and it is clear (and has been admitted by them) that WRSE were taken by surprise at the scale and the level of dissatisfaction shown in the responses received.

The Abingdon Reservoir is the strategic project on which most opposition has been registered in the consultation - there were over 500 (out of 1150) responses which opposed this project.

It is encouraging g, but not surprising to us, that there has been a lot of support for GARD’s view in the other responses. GARD's response to the consultation has been summarised in a fair and reasonable way at various points in WRSE’s document. They seem to have read our response and registered our numerous criticisms - even though they make outright rejection at some points. GARD is mentioned 25 times in the response (against Ofwat's 18).

We await evidence that WRSE have really listened however, as there is no concrete evidence that they have changed course. WRSE make little attempt to address our concerns now, mainly ducking them.

Ofwat have criticised the lack of detailed cost and environmental evidence in the plan and WRSE have committed to provide more in the draft plan in the Autumn. There has been a lot of criticism of the adoption of just a single deficit scenario to 2040, including from both Ofwat and Environment Agency (EA).  This does seem to have touched a nerve, but the WRSE response has still been very woolly. This adoption of a single ‘near worst case’ scenario must continue to be challenged by local Oxfordshire groups. WRSE are on very weak ground here.

There has evidently been a lot of criticism of the inflated figures for abstraction reductions needed from vulnerable streams and lack of evidence to support them. We should keep pressing. GARD and Oxfordshire should continue to advocate prioritisation and realism.

It is good to see widespread support of the EA's personal consumption target of 110 litres per person pre day (ducked by WRSE). As this has been re-emphasised by Ofwat and the EA, we expect WRSE to take action and reduce the scale of the water resources to be built.

Finally, there is evidently a lot of support for Severn Thames Transfer. This was the option with the biggest support (300 out of 1150 respondents). This is very encouraging to see the support for GARD’s preferred alternative to the Reservoir.

The WRSE response can be seen at https://wrse.uk.engagementhq.com/our-regional-plan, following the link to the “Emerging Regional Plan consultation response”. Ofwat’s criticism of WRSE is at https://www.ofwat.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/14-03-2022-WRSE-regional-plan-letter-for-web.pdf.

GARD will keep up the pressure on WRSE and Thames Water to drop the ruinous Reservoir project from their plans. We now have unanimous local political opposition on our side. Find out how to take Action and join us, and keep up to date on GARD Facebook.

 


GARD

If you wish to join GARD, lifetime membership is £10 (under 18s and full-time students £5). You can download a membership application form at our website <Just Click Here>



ABOUT GARD (Group Against Reservoir Development). GARD is a group of individuals whose aim is to identify and promote viable solutions to meet the future needs of water users in the Thames Water Region. GARD is advised by eminent water industry practitioners. Our committee is composed of voluntary, unpaid members with technical experience, each of whom is free from any political or vested interests. Click here for names of committee members and advisors.

 

 
NEWS BRIEFING

Excellent Local Response to WRSE
Emerging Regional Plan

February 2022
Complete Rejection by Oxfordshire organisations and residents. 


A message from GARD chair - Derek Stork

" It has been a very busy and encouraging time for the past couple of months.
Now the dust has settled on the WRSE consultation, and before our next challenge, I'd like to add my thanks to all GARD members and supporters who responded so forcefully to the WRSE emerging regional plan. I'd like to thank you all for your physical support too, with leaflets and meetings. It is really heartening.

You can find the GARD response on our downloads page

CLICK TO READ MORE  bullet

Abingdon Reservoir August 2021
Latest News from GARD

Well, Gate One has now been reached and reports are available for all the strategic options, but, most importantly, the reservoir (now being called ‘South East Strategic Reservoir Option – SESRO), London Effluent Reuse and Severn – Thames Transfer.

CLICK TO READ MORE  bullet


May 2021

Following the local elections on 6th May, there have been significant changes to the makeup of Oxfordshire County Council.  Click here for an up to date list of councillors and their email addresses. GARD officers will be seeking opportunities to brief those that represent us to ensure that they have the best up to date understanding of the challenges regarding the proposed reservoir.

CLICK TO READ MORE  bullet

 


For pre 2020 news and information
CLICK TO READ MORE  bullet

WHAT CAN I DO

There are many ways in which you can get involved with the campaign.

bullet  Join Us

bullet  Take Action

CLICK TO READ MORE   bullet
SEE THE MAP

map
The previously proposed Abingdon reservoir layout.

CLICK TO READ MORE   bullet