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Thames Water showcases plans to protect future water supply across the South East

Tuesday 17th October 2023 12:00

An artists impression of the South East Strategic Reservoir Option

An artists impression of the South East Strategic Reservoir Option

  • Thames Water is hosting a series of consultation and community engagement events to share and discuss its plans to provide a secure and sustainable water supply for the next 50 years. 
  • The ambitious plans to address future water security include a new reservoir near Abingdon and a direct river abstraction project in West London.  
  • This comes at a time when the company forecasts that across London and the Thames Valley it will need an extra 1 billion litres of water every day – enough to fill 400 Olympic sized swimming pools.  

Thames Water is inviting communities, customers, and stakeholders to find out more and have their say on its proposed new schemes and projects, designed to protect water security for future generations.  

The company published its revised draft Water Resources Management Plan in August, which outlines the actions and investment required to deliver a secure and sustainable water supply, for the next 50 years and beyond.   

The plan includes ambitious leakage and customer demand reduction targets, alongside major infrastructure projects. The South East Strategic Reservoir Option, which is set to be built near Abingdon, will supply Thames Water, Southern Water and Affinity Water customers, whilst the Teddington Direct River Abstraction project will ensure drought resilience in London. 

The next round of consultation and engagement events will be held across Oxfordshire and West London during November and follow extensive public consultation that took place between December 2022 and March 2023.  

Nevil Muncaster, Strategic Partnerships Director at Thames Water, said: “We need to act now or face the very real prospect of serious water shortages in the decades to come. The UK has not built a new reservoir for over 30 years, yet we face the genuine risk of the taps running dry if we fail to make bold decisions now.  

“A new reservoir in Oxfordshire would be so much more than simply a place to store water and will have a lasting legacy. We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to invest in new infrastructure and provide many social, economic and environmental benefits, including a recreational space for people to enjoy water sports, walking, cycling, fishing and birdwatching.  

“Alongside the reservoir, our plan includes a direct river abstraction project in West London, a scheme which will improve our resilience to drought, along with ambitious water demand reduction and leakage targets.”  

Event attendees can find out more about the schemes at a series of events and also learn about the wider issues ahead, including, climate change, population growth and the need to reduce the amount of water taken from rivers and chalk streams to protect the environment.  

The events across Teddington, Twickenham and Kingston, will run alongside a formal consultation process on the proposed Teddington Direction River Abstraction project, where local people, communities and stakeholders will be invited to have their say on the site selection and tunnel alignment.  While the Oxfordshire engagement events will help to inform communities on the next steps to develop the new reservoir.  

To find out more about the Teddington Direct River Abstraction project:  

  • Friday 3 November: York House, Twickenham, TW1 3AA (2pm to 8pm) - sign-up here 
  • Thursday 9 November: Peter & Paul Centre, Teddington, TW1 3AA (2pm to 8pm) - sign-up here 
  • Monday 13 November: Twickenham Stadium, TW2 7BA (2pm to 8pm) - sign-up here  
  • Monday 20 November: Kingston YMCA Hawker, KT2 5BH (2pm to 8pm) - sign-up here 


To find out more about the South East Strategic Reservoir Option (SESRO): 

  • Friday 10 November: East Hanney War Memorial Hall, OX12 0JL (2pm to 8pm) - sign-up here 
  • Wednesday 15 November: Steventon Milton Hill Hotel, OX13 6AF (2pm to 8pm) - sign-up here 


To sign-up visit