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Anglian Water reveals site of proposed new Cambridgeshire reservoir for 250,000 homes as consultation begins





Anglian Water has revealed the proposed location for a new reservoir in the Cambridgeshire fens, which will supply water for a quarter of a million homes.

It is suggested that it should be sited north of Chatteris, near the villages of Doddington and Wimblington, and help reduce the amount of water being taken from rivers and underground aquifers in the region. The water company says it will also become a new visitor destination, creating new jobs and wider economic, environmental, leisure and health benefits.

A map of the proposed location for the new Cambridgeshire fens reservoir. Map: Anglian Water
A map of the proposed location for the new Cambridgeshire fens reservoir. Map: Anglian Water

Developed in partnership with Cambridge Water, a formal 10-week public consultation begins today (October 12) on the project, which forms part of their Water Resources Management Plans, and the wider regional plans of Water Resources East, which look ahead 25 years.

Dr Geoff Darch, water resources strategy manager for Anglian Water, said: “This project will build on decades of existing investment in resilient infrastructure – like a 400km strategic pipeline which will move water from the north to the south and east of the region, existing networks of reservoirs and water storage, as well as continuing to help customers to reduce demand and driving down leakage to world leading low levels. But we know, that to keep taps running in the future, we’ll need more water storage in our region, in the form of new reservoirs.”

After one of the driest summers on record, the demands of climate change have put the spotlight on water resources.

The water companies have come under criticism for allowing sewage to flow into rivers and for abstracting water from the aquifer, leading to rivers and chalk streams drying up.

How the Cambridgeshire fens reservoir could look. Illustration: Anglian Water
How the Cambridgeshire fens reservoir could look. Illustration: Anglian Water

Dr Darch said: “The new reservoir will store more water so it’s always on tap when we need it, meeting the challenges of a changing climate and a growing population. It will mean less water is taken from sensitive sources, such as chalk streams, helping us to protect and restore the environment.

“Our vision for the project goes beyond just building a reservoir. We want to create a place where water, people and nature come together. That means creating space for wildlife, such as wetlands, alongside enabling new recreational and educational activities and natural places for people to explore. It also means creating new jobs and providing opportunities for local businesses and tourism.”

The companies said a detailed site selection study considered factors such as the impact on the community and the environment, and flood protection, to identify the location for the new reservoir, and a very early concept design has been created.

It shows some of the features that could be included, such as wildlife areas, recreation and water sports, green infrastructure like cycleways and renewable energy, and others. Feedback from the first phase of consultation, running until December 21, will inform the next stage of work.

Visit fensreservoir.co.uk for details.



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