How we plan water resources

Making sure we continue to have a reliable supply of water takes careful planning and co-ordination, nationally and regionally.

The National Framework for Water Resources explores England’s long-term water needs. It considers what actions are required to provide water in the future, and how much is needed in each region.

The five regional water resource groups develop regional plans. In our region, that’s Water Resources East (WRE). Regional plans set out more detail on the water supplies for the region, including the needs of the environment. The emerging WRE regional plan identifies the need for new reservoirs as a key element of the overall package to ensure our region can continue to thrive.

Water companies then develop a Water Resources Management Plan (WRMP) setting their plans and investments – such as improving efficiency; addressing leakage; restoring the environment; and building new water resources.

Anglian Water’s 2019 WRMP sets out what we need to do from 2020 to 2045. It identified new reservoirs as a crucial solution to meet the growing demands on water supplies in the East of England.

The proposed new reservoir is part of a process set up by the Regulators’ Alliance for Progressing Infrastructure Development (RAPID) to develop new strategic water resource solutions. RAPID is made up of the three water regulators – Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat), the Environment Agency (EA) and the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI).

RAPID assesses proposals for new large-scale, strategic investments to make sure water companies are progressing proposals that best meet their customers’ needs. This assessment is carried out when companies submit information about their proposals at points in time called ‘gates’. There are five gates in total. Gate one was in July 2021 and we submitted our gate two report in November 2022. The gate two report outlines how we have identified a site and developed an early concept design.

When we initially progressed proposals for the new reservoir, we developed them in partnership with Affinity Water, which provides water to almost four million customers in southern England. This was because early assessments suggested customers of both companies needed to be supplied from a new reservoir in Lincolnshire. Since then, regionally based decision making processes have shown that it would be better for Affinity Water to take its water from alternative sources. The need for a reservoir in Lincolnshire for the East of England is still clear and is well represented in the regional plans. That’s why Anglian Water will now continue to progress the project on behalf of Anglian Water customers. It’s a key part of our plans to invest today to help prepare for tomorrow

Our new Water Resources Management Plan

Our new plan setting out what we need to do from 2025 to 2050 has now been published. This is in draft form, and subject to a public consultation (a separate process from the consultation on the proposed reservoir in Lincolnshire). The proposal for the new reservoir in Lincolnshire continues to be an important feature of our new plan.

You can find out more about our new draft WRMP and how to take part in the consultation on the WRMP here.

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Freephone: 0800 915 2491


Post: FREEPOST Lincolnshire Reservoir

Useful documents

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Consultation Brochure

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Site Plan

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