Anglian Water confirms proposed location for a new reservoir in Lincolnshire ahead of public consultation

Anglian Water has confirmed the proposed location for a new reservoir in Lincolnshire, south-east of Sleaford, about halfway between Grantham and Boston.

The reservoir will supply enough water for around half a million homes, as well as protecting the environment by allowing Anglian to reduce the amount of water taken from rivers and underground aquifers elsewhere in the region.

The announcement comes after one of the driest summers on record, comparable to 1976. This saw many water companies, but not Anglian Water, implementing hosepipe bans to conserve water supplies. Anglian was able to avoid a hosepipe ban because of the significant investment it has put into reducing leakage, increasing metering and adding resilience to the water supply system over many decades, despite operating in a region that is the driest in the country, and one of the fastest growing.

The project forms part of Anglian’s long term Water Resources Management Plans and is linked to the wider regional plans led by Water Resources East. These plans look 25 years ahead, with the objective of ensuring the region is resilient to more frequent episodes of drought brought on by climate change, all while improving environmental protection.

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.”

Plans for new reservoirs have been developing over the last 10 years, with the water company now ready to share the findings of a detailed site selection study in the autumn, in what will be the first of a multi-phase consultation on the proposals.

Geoff added: “Following a thorough and multi-stage site selection assessment process, assessing a wide range of criteria, we have now identified the best performing location for a new reservoir.

Geoff added: “We think it’s right those who are potentially most affected find out first and have the opportunity to ask us any questions about what this might mean for them. We are now in contact with those who own property and live within the proposed area and who will be potentially affected by our proposals.

“We know there is wide interest in the new reservoir. The project will create a new strategic water resource to support water supply to Anglian customers. It will help secure water supplies for future generations, so we can address the challenges of a changing climate, environmental protection and population growth. Our proposals go beyond just building a new reservoir, we will create new habitats for wildlife and places for people and create great natural places to explore, and exciting new leisure facilities for people to enjoy.

“A formal consultation process will begin this October, when we will give communities and wider stakeholders the opportunity to have their say and to help shape the development of the design of the reservoir and inform the economic, social, environmental and health opportunities it could create for the local area.”

Together with a panel of expert partners, Anglian Water has been undertaking a wide range of assessments to identify potential locations for the reservoir. That includes considering impacts on people and communities, the needs of the environment, landscape, existing water sources, engineering requirements, flood protection and many other factors. The work has also considered what opportunities the reservoir could create for local communities and the wider region.

When the consultation starts, Anglian Water will be launching a new website about the proposed reservoir and providing more details of how people can have their say. An early concept design of the reservoir will be available together with images of what the planned leisure and wildlife features could look like. There will also be webinars and community events in the area for people to meet Anglian Water’s team and ask questions.

More information is available here including how to get in contact with Anglian Water regarding the proposals.

You can download an initial concept plan for the reservoir here.

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