30 May 2024


Anglian Water has launched a second phase of public consultation for a proposed reservoir in Lincolnshire. Open from the 30 May to 9 August, the water company is now welcoming feedback on its latest proposals and is set to host a series of in-person events across the region.

A new artist’s impression of the reservoir was released in April ahead of consultation commencing today and more details on its emerging design are now available. The proposals describe and illustrate how the site could feature in the local landscape and how its shape and gently sloping embankments could integrate with the surrounding villages and farmland.

Anglian Water is also providing information on options and locations for the associated water infrastructure needed to fill the reservoir, treat the water, and transfer it to homes and businesses in the area. This includes a combination of channels, pipelines and different types of equipment to ensure safe drinking water is on tap when it’s needed.

New walking, cycling and horse riding routes could help connect adjacent communities with the reservoir, and proposals include opportunities for recreational activities such as sailing and wind surfing. 

The proposed reservoir is being thoughtfully designed to respect and reveal the local area’s rich character and heritage. By creating new wetland habitats, it could help the environment to thrive and to increase the presence and diversity of local wildlife. These environments could also serve as educational hubs to teach future generations about how water shapes their lives and the environment.

An independent report published by Anglian Water last year, commissioned with Capital Economics, revealed that the East of England is set to be the country's most challenged region outside London within the next two decades.

Projections from the Met Office show that the East of England will become hotter and drier in summer, and wetter in winter, and the region's population is set to grow with more than 720,000 new residents. In addition, there is a need to leave more water in precious environments, for example chalk streams. All of these factors mean that there is a pressing need to store winter water in order to cope with summer droughts. Unless bold action is taken, the demand for water will outstrip the available supply within the next decade, making the reservoir project vital for the continued growth and prosperity of the region.

The reservoir would make the most of available water in the region, capturing river water during wetter months that would otherwise drain to the sea and storing it for use in drier months. This ability to store surplus water provides resilience and additional environmental opportunities.

Ensuring a resilient water supply for the future forms a key component of Anglian Water’s largest-ever, £9 billion business plan for 2025-30, currently with Ofwat for approval. Over the next five years, the company will continue work on its network of strategic water pipelines, which will transport water from wetter to drier areas of its region. The company’s plans for this period also propose £184 million of investment to renew 688km of climate vulnerable water mains.

Anglian Water completed a multi-stage assessment to identify preferred ways for transferring water to and from the reservoir and the infrastructure needed. It also looked at the potential benefits and opportunities that the different options might unlock, including whether they could enhance the environment, support existing water resources management initiatives or potentially unlock navigation opportunities. 

Geoff Darch, Head of Supply Demand at Anglian Water said:  

“The proposed new reservoir in Lincolnshire that we’re developing is a key part of our plans to meet these challenges. Together with its associated water infrastructure, the reservoir will create a much-needed new water resource, whilst also presenting significant social, economic and environmental opportunities. We’re planning to include features that local communities would value and use, whilst identifying opportunities to deliver ecological benefits and promote sustainability.

“In the time that we’ve been developing the reservoir proposals, we’ve seen one of the hottest summers on record and one of the wettest winters. It’s a timely reminder of how our region is changing and why we need to take action to prepare for the future.” 

Geoff continued:

“We are looking forward to engaging with the local community and other key stakeholders over the coming weeks. The feedback we receive during these consultations are a crucial component of future planning. We are hosting a full programme of events across the local area, where the project team will be on hand to listen to feedback and answer questions. We’ve also produced detailed project brochures and a range of other supporting materials to ensure our proposals are accessible to as many people as possible.”

A full programme of public events can be found on the project website including community webinars where information will be shared and the team will be available to answer questions. All the proposals are now open for comment from the public, whose feedback will help Anglian Water to further understand any potential impacts and opportunities from the project. 

A range of new consultation materials have been published on the project website, alongside interactive maps and clear instructions on how the public can have their say.

For more information on the public consultation and wider project, please visit: www.lincsreservoir.co.uk