WaGCG : Wantage and Grove Campaign Group
Wantage and Grove Campaign Group (WaGCG)

Abingdon Reservoir

The Proposed Reservoir

If the reservoir is approved it will be an above-ground reservoir which will be contained by walls (or Bunds) between about 30 metres high with building starting in 2025. It will cover 4 square miles between the A338 and the A34 north of the railway line - that's the area of 1,600 football pitches. The surface of the water is likely to be covered with solar panels. There is unlikely to be any space around the reservoir for leisure facilities.
It would hold between 100 and 150 million cubic metres of water and be capable of providing 600 million litres per day.

To see the draft map of the new reservoir see this page from the Thames Water Reservoir - Technical Report.

RAPID Gate 2 Draft Decisions

The Regulators' Alliance for Progressing Infrastructure Development (RAPID) was set up in 2019. It is a partnership made up of the three water regulators - Ofwat, the Environment Agency (EA) and the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI). RAPID was formed to help facilitate the development and funding of new large scale strategic water supply options by the water companies.
RAPID has a 4 gate process.
Gate 2 was supposed to look at the solutions in more detail with focus on ensuring that funding for continued investigation and development of solutions is aligned to water resources planning, but the 'Draft Decisions' on the Strategic Resource Options released on 30th March 2023 included all options.

It seems that no selection has been made. For more information

Water Resources South East draft Regional Plan

Water Resources South East is the grouping of 7 South-East Water Companies – including Thames Water and Affinity Water. They have published their draft Plan for the South-East until 2075. The consultation is available here
This plan is a summary of the draft plans of each of the Water Companies and the consultation closed on 23 February 2023.

Our response to the plan is available here

Thames Water draft Water Resources Management Plan 2024 (WRMP24)

The consultation on the Thames Water WRMP24 is available here

The Plan includes the ‘Abingdon’ Reservoir. If approved, a start would be made in 2025, and the reservoir would be filled from 2037 to 2039 and be ready for 2040.

Thames Water supply 2.6 billion litres of water, but not all of that gets to their customers. At the moment, almost 24% of the water supplied is lost through leakage - that's 650 million litres per day (the same amount that the reservoir would provide).

At least half of the amount of water required by 2040 could be provided by a pipeline from the river Severn at a much lower cost and lower environment impact. The rest could be provided by reducing the leakage and improving water efficiency.

Our response to the plan is available here

For more background


Group Against Reservoir Development

Action organisation GARD (Group Against Reservoir Development) has battled for years against Thames Water's proposals for an "Abingdon reservoir".
They believe that other options are less costly, less damaging to the environment, less disruptive to local communities and more robust against climate change than the reservoir.

This is a map of where we think the reservoir will be
Map of where the reservoir will be
this can be accessed on a separate tab here).

Water Regulation

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) reported that on 3 April 2023 the Government released a new "Plan for Water" which covers both the water environment – how clean it is – and water resources – how much of it we have.

For details of the Statutory bodies and organisations responsible for the water system see

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