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Government gives Thames reservoir a cautious welcome

Thames Water's plans for a new reservoir near Abingdon, Oxfordshire, were yesterday given a cautious welcome by the Government's Consumer Council for Water (CCWater).
On Wednesday the water supplier published plans to build a £1bn reservoir to meet increasing demand from customers.It proposes to build the 10 square kilometre reservoir on farmland near Abingdon in Oxfordshire to cope with a growing need for water, mainly in London.CCWater Thames David Bland said: 'We welcome the new reservoir plan, but it is not the sole solution to the Thames region's water resources problems. It must be part of a twin-track plan which balances new resources against increased water efficiency. 'A balanced plan should include Thames Water hitting the regulator's new targets on reductions in leakage from its network of pipes; continued water saving by households and businesses; and selective use of other new resources such as small-scale desalination plants.' Bland added: 'This reservoir will take 13-14 years to complete, and there are still serious water resources concerns for this year and next. Late summer rain has not got us off the hook, and a third dry winter would mean more usage restrictions in 2007. Thames Water must continue to reduce leakage faster and further than it has in the past, and consumers must continue to use water sensibly.'

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