Print This Post Print This Post

Water Transfer – West to East

London needs water from the West

Report from CCT Chief Executive Ken Burgin

Thames Water (TW) has opened its draft 2015 – 2040 Water Resource Management Plan for public consultation. The use of the Cotswold Canals as a route for water to be pumped from the River Severn to the River Thames is one of the options Thames Water have to consider. And you can help them in their considerations! The result of which may mean that the capital's water could one day pass through Sapperton Tunnel!

Detailed document

TW's Water Resource Management draft is a detailed document with supporting technical material setting out Thames Water's plan over the next 25 years.

Transferring water from the Severn to the Thames is shown in the supporting technical documentation as an option that requires further investigation. There is an undertaking to continue work to develop this and similar schemes.

Significant doubts raised

The Severn-Thames transfer using the canal route is not at the top of TW's list. There are significant doubts about some of the things that are… and whether they will be acceptable to the public.

CCT's response

At present, the Trust is not satisfied by some of the conclusions of some of the technical studies carried out in evaluating the Cotswold Canals based transfer option. The Trust will be submitting a detailed response to these.

Click here, or on the picture of the two Thames Water customers right, to view the document.

CCT needs your help

You can help by accepting Thames Water's invitation to comment on their Resources Management Plan.

Your views can be made by email, by writing a letter or by calling a Freephone number. (Adddreses & number below) 

Five important points

Whichever method you choose, here are five important points that you may wish to make clear.

  1. Welcome the inclusion of water transfer as one of the three main potential water resource solutions for London and the undertaking that more work developing this will be carried out
  2. A Severn-Thames water transfer scheme using the Cotswold Canals would be an excellent way of overcoming London's shortfall of water resources
  3. The collateral recreational, environmental and economic benefits would be far greater than using a pipeline and arguably all of the other supply options being considered
  4. Share CCT's concern that the amount of water available from the canal based scheme has been underestimated, particularly the maximum potential throughput and additional water resources not available to the alternative more northerly Severn – Thames pipeline option
  5. Point out that the canal offers a flexible solution with the potential of becoming part of more sophisticated future storage and distribution schemes as the needs arise
Click on this map to see how the existing canal route is far shorter than the northerly pipeline

CCT Chief Executive Ken Burgin observes…

"The more people who submit comments supporting the canal route, the greater the likelihood is of the scheme being taken forward.

"Water Transfer using the Cotswold Canals offers possibly the quickest route to full restoration. It would also ensure that the canal was well maintained in the future."

Consultation open until Tuesday 23rd July
Inform TW by Email

The easiest way to comment is to send an email to with a copy to

Or, write a letter to

Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Water Resources Management Plan Consultation (Thames Water)
Area 3D Nobel House
17 Smith Square

Freefone helpline

If you are unable to take part online or in writing, you can tell DEFRA what you think by calling their freephone number, 0808 178 9055. A staff member will help you to complete the feedback form over the phone. Lines are open from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm and close at weekends and on bank holidays.

Click hereand on the icon below, to carry out a little research.