Thames Water has re-tabled proposals to build a reservoir near Abingdon in Oxfordshire, but has pushed back its delivery until 2043. The proposal was made in Thames Water’s recently published draft water resources management plan (WRMP) for 2019-2024, which is under consultation until 29 April.
The utility appointed Mott MacDonald and Cascade to look into the 55 different sites where a reservoir could be constructed in order to ensure a sustainable supply of potable water by 2100. Many sites were screened out after planning, property, engineering and environmental considerations were taken into account.
Abingdon is considered to offer the best value across all reservoir capacities from 30Mm³ to 150Mm³ across all the assessment criteria. The only drawback to the site at Abingdon is land use quality - with no brownfield land being used.
Sites at Chinnor and Marsh Gibbon were also assessed. Marsh Gibbon was found to perform poorly against landscape impacts, floodplain encroachment and construction complexity at the larger reservoir capacity options. Chinnor was found appropriate but only at the small reservoir capacity size of no more than 50Mm³.