AN Oxfordshire MP has called on Thames Water to ‘fix leaks’ across the county before building a new reservoir.

The water company recently published an update on their plans to construct a large reservoir in Abingdon.

It would hold 100 billion litres of water over seven square kilometres and has an estimated cost of around £1.4 billion.

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The water in the reservoir would be supplied to other areas in the South East in times of reduced supply, including London and parts of Hampshire.

However, liberal democrat Layla Moran, who represents Oxford West and Abingdon, has joined local campaigning groups in opposing the plans, calling on water companies to look more closely at the environmental impact of the project.

She said: “Climate change and population growth are putting a serious strain on water resources.

“But Thames Water loses more than 600 million litres of water every day to leaks, that’s a quarter of the water in its network. 

“And yet Thames Water have published detailed plans for a mega-reservoir near Abingdon – that’s like filling the bath when the plughole’s open.

“To add insult to injury, this project will cost an estimated £1.4 billion. In the midst of a cost-of-living crisis when so many are struggling to pay their utility bills, this monumental project is wasteful and disgraceful.

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“It is absolutely essential that water companies step up and fix their existing infrastructure before consumers have to foot the bill for this huge new project.”


Read more from this author

This story was written by Gee Harland. She joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Wallingford, Wantage and Didcot.

Get in touch with her by emailing:

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

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