About the project
Anglian Water, working in partnership with Cambridge Water, is proposing a new reservoir in the Fens that will secure water supply to our customers for future generations.
The new reservoir will store more water so it’s always on tap when we need it, meeting the challenges of a changing climate and a growing population. It will mean less water is taken from sensitive sources, such as chalk streams, helping us to protect and restore the environment.
Alongside meeting these challenges, the project presents significant social, economic and environmental opportunities. Our vision for the project goes beyond just building a reservoir. We want to create a place where water, people and nature come together.
That means creating space for wildlife, such as wetlands, alongside enabling new recreational and educational activities and natural places for people to explore. It also means creating new jobs and providing opportunities for local businesses and tourism.
The proposed site is between Chatteris and March, near to Doddington, Wimblington and Manea. During times of high rainfall, river flows from the Great Ouse catchment would feed the reservoir with water. The water stored at the reservoir will then be treated and transported so it can be supplied to people’s homes and businesses throughout the year.
How we identified the site
We’ve carried out a detailed site selection study to identify the proposed site for the reservoir. We completed multiple stages of assessments to identify our proposed site. This aimed to make sure we identified a location that would be suitable for hosting a reservoir, and aimed to minimise impacts on nearby areas and communities, and meet planning and regulatory frameworks.
Looking across a broad search area we identified a large number of potential locations and assessed how they performed against a wide range of factors. Geology plays a significant role in selecting a site for a reservoir; equally we needed to exclude areas of land where the reservoir could not be located due to existing restrictions or protections.
The site locations that performed best at each stage were taken forward and assessed again, in more detail, against a range of criteria including those below. At each stage the list got shorter until we identified a best-performing site – one which balances all of the factors we considered, and that also provides significant opportunities to unlock wider benefits.
Working with stakeholders
Through all our work to identify the best performing site, we’ve sought input from a range of stakeholders on our proposals, as they continued to develop.
This has ensured our work has been informed by those responsible for the local area and the region’s environment, alongside our own teams. We have engaged with:
- national bodies such as Natural England, the Environment Agency, and Historic England
- the local authorities in Cambridgeshire to keep informed of their own proposals for the region, and seek their opinion on how the reservoir could minimise potential impacts, and maximise potential benefits
- existing water-focused groups including Water Resources East and the Fens Water Partnership, of which Anglian Water and Cambridge Water are members
- agriculture groups to hear their views on the importance of water to agriculture as a key industry for the local economy
This work has helped guide and inform the development of our proposals so far to ensure we’re assessing factors that are important for the region.
If you’d like more information on how we identified a best performing site and the information we considered, please read our Site Selection Report.
The factors we assessed
Get in touch
Contact the project team today.
Freephone: 0800 915 2492
Post: FREEPOST Fens Reservoir