Thames Water plans £1bn reservoir

14-09-2006

Utility firm Thames Water plans to build a £1 billion reservoir to meet increased water demand.

The reservoir planned for near Abingdon, Oxfordshire, is billed as the biggest to be built in the UK in 25 years, holding 150 million cubic metres of water.

The site is expected to supply an extra 350 million litres of water a day.

Thames warned it may use compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) to get obstinate people off the land in East Hanney and Steventon.

Richard Aylard, Thames' environmental director, said: "I have huge sympathy for the people living there. No doubt some will not want to leave.

"We have spoken to the people in the area, saying if they are interested in selling, we want to buy."

Public consultation on the plans begins today and lasts until November.

The Consumer Council for Water welcomed the plans but said it was no panacea for the region's water resource problems.

"Thames Water must continue to reduce leakage faster and further than it has in the past, and consumers must continue to use water sensibly," it said.

The reservoir is due to be completed in 2018-2019.

Thames has been put up for sale by its German owner RWE and could be floated later this year.


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