Print This Post Print This Post

Water Transfer — Latest update — Call to Action

Cotswold Canals Trust Chief Executive Ken Burgin
reports on the latest Thames Water Plan

Thames Water held a public meeting in Cirencester in 2017 and another in 2018.

They have now published a draft Water Resource Management Plan (WRMP19) covering the period from 2019 to 2100.

You are invited to comment

The draft ‘WRMP19 Plan’ is open for public comment until 29th April 2018.

Matters to note

Use of the Cotswold Canals for transferring water to London does not appear in the ‘WRMP19 Plan’ draft.

Photo of Kings Reach, Coates, by Karen Shaw

Cotswold Canals Trust feels that using the canal would be cost effective and provide benefits far greater than options detailed in the Thames Water Plan.

Using the Cotswold Canals as a means to transfer water from the Severn to the Thames would greatly accelerate the restoration of the entire canal.

The map below shows the Cotswold Canals Trust Severn — Thames Transfer Route
Coloured green. It is notably shorter than the Thames Water option coloured orange.
Click here, or on the image below, to download and print a large PDF version 

If you feel this provides a more favourable route it is important that you participate in this consultation.

Your response can be as simple as saying you support the use of the Cotswold Canals to transfer water into the dry south-east corner of England.
If wish to enlarge upon your own reasons for supporting the Cotswold Canals Route then further details are provided below.

The main points CCT will be making are:

  • Use of the Cotswold Canals for transferring water from the Severn to the Thames creates far greater environmental, recreational, social well-being and economic benefits than any other option
  • The Cotswold Canals route is technically feasible and provides a markedly more energy efficient solution than creating and using a cross country pipeline
  • Restoring the Cotswold Canals is a nationally important and popular project; and as such is unlikely to encounter the inevitable opposition that the proposed Abingdon Reservoir scheme would attract
  • The costings, and other assumptions, used by Thames Water for the various water resource options appear biased towards the solutions they want to promote. The key costing figures have not been made available and are redacted in the reports.
    It is entirely possible that the Cotswold Canals Scheme is more cost effective than those included in the preferred programme
  • Providing additional water to the River Severn in times of drought relies on supplies made available by United Utilities and Severn Trent Water. Thames Water appears to have issue with the costs of that service. This is something of which the Government and the Water Services Regulation Authority (OFWAT), the body responsible for economic regulation of the privatised water and sewerage industry in England and Wales need to be made aware
  • CCT will also detail the weaknesses in some of the other proposed schemes.

Click here, or on the icon below, to download a detailed 14 page briefing document

Closure date for the submission of your support for the Cotswold Canals water transfer route is Sunday 29th April 2018.
You do not have to be a Thames Water customer to submit your feedback. If you are you may wish to say so.

Click here to submit your comments by email to:

Or by post to:

Thames Water — WRMP
c/o Water Resources Policy
Area 3D, Nobel House
17 Smith Square
London SW1P 3JR

Further in depth reading:

Click here to read Thames Water’s draft ‘WRMP19 Plan’ in full

Cotswold Canals Severn-Thames Water Transfer Scheme

Thames Water’s technical report into the Cotswold Canals Severn-Thames Water Transfer Scheme is covered in Appendix G, page 224, of the Raw Water Transfer Feasibility Report. Cotswold Canals Trust responded to this document when it was first published in February 2018. The response resulted in some agreed optimisations. However, the CCT view is that there are many aspects still capable of significant improvement.

Click here to go to Raw Water Transfer Feasibility Report


You input is important and will be considered. Thames Water will respond to every point made and issue a revised WRMP later in the year.
DEFRA will then decide whether to accept it, insist on changes or set up a Public Inquiry.
CCT responded effectively to the 2010 Public Inquiry into the WRMP09.