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Environment Agency expresses its doubts over Abingdon reservoir

The environment agency has expressed its doubts over a reservoir planned by Thames Water south of Abingdon, Oxfordshire.
Thames Water says the reservoir, which is expected to cost around £1bn, will cover an area of approximately 10km2 and hold up to 150Mm3 of water, is a necessary part of a package of measures to help secure water supplies for its customers. Thames Water is also proposing water meters should be fitted to homes on change of occupancy.However the Environment Agency said that Thames Water has failed to answer three key questions in its second round of public consultation, which finished on Friday: including, It says uncertainty still surrounds how much water Thames needs to supply customers in the future, the best future demand methods and whether the proposed site is most appropriate.The Environment Agency's area manager, Craig Woolhouse said, 'We accept that Thames Water and other water companies in the south east of England cannot meet the forecast growth in demand for water solely through demand management, such as metering and leakage reduction.'Despite our current reservations about the justification for a reservoir, we have looked at each stage of the public consultations as they have been rolled out by Thames Water. This is because if a reservoir is built, we want to ensure we are involved from the beginning to ensure we get the best for both people and the environment,' he said.

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