It is with great encouragement that I, and I am sure those young engineers that entered our 'dam competitions' recently (NCE 11/25 December), read that the Environment Agency is dropping its opposition to the construction of new reservoirs.
While we must all acknowledge that there is a need to cut leaks and to ensure good demand management, these methods tend to follow a line of diminishing returns.
Reservoirs have served us extremely well over the decades and new reservoirs or extensions to existing reservoirs have to be the way forward to ensure our future.
We have all seen that reservoirs which have been well designed, well constructed, and ones which consider the impact on the community and the environment become an accepted and vitally important part of our infrastructure.
They provide benefits in terms of water supply, flood alleviation and control, power generation, river regulation and by no means least important, recreation and leisure activities. In my opinion when well conceived they enhance our environment and improve our quality of life.
I hope that the planning and consultation processes can be streamlined to ensure that the new reservoirs we desperately need are not delayed by bureaucratic procedures.
Dr Andy Hughes, immediate past chairman of the British Dam Society, director of dams, Kellogg Brown and Root, Andy.Hughes@halliburton.