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This website has been created using the best information available to GARD at the time of its compilation. The opinions expressed are based on GARD’s perception of the issues involved and the stance taken by Thames Water



Act now to oppose Affinity Water's plans for the reservoir.
Deadline 26th April 2019

Affinity Water publish their plan for consultation – partnership on reservoir with Thames Water is 'preferred option'

As we reported last month, Affinity Water published their revised draft Water Resources Management Plan 2019-2024 (known as rdWRMP19) on 1st March. The consultation on this plan runs until 26th April.

As expected, Affinity confirm that their 'preferred plan' is to partner Thames Water in constructing the 'mega-reservoir' next to our villages. They would take an approximately 1/3 share, and the plan proposes to start in 2025, and have the reservoir ready by 2037-8.

Affinity have no better case for needing the water from this reservoir than Thames Water have. By their own admission, they have other possible sources of supply. . These water sources would be available earlier than the reservoir. Affinity have chosen to prefer the reservoir first, for the same cynical reasons as Thames: to build up a huge water surplus in the 2040s and 2050s that they can sell-on by 'transfer' to other water companies in the South-east.  GARD's analysis shows that Affinity's requirements  can be met by very simple and cheap schemes and improving leakage (sounds familiar?), until at least the 2060s.

GARD will be making a very strong objection in response  to Affinity. CPRE Oxon have already come out against this and we hope to co-ordinate our response with local organisations. We urge all residents to make a strong response objecting to this and re-iterating our call for a Public inquiry before this plan is accepted. You can find out about the plan at  https://stakeholder.affinitywater.co.uk/water-resources.aspx  

We should make sure the Oxfordshire voice is heard by this Hertfordshire water company. The local individual objections to Thames Water's plan made up one third of all individual responses sent in. We must try and dominate the Affinity consultation in the same way.

Making your response

If you need information to help in your response, you can find a list of GARD's facts and objections to the Affinity Plan, by clicking here
or to download the full key points in Microsoft Word click here Download word doc

For a shorter (one page) of key points against the Affinity Plan, to view the short fact-sheet click here.
or to download one page key points in Microsoft Word click here Download word doc

We have also drafted a letter that can be sent in to the consultation, to view the letter as a PDF click here.
or to download draft letter in Microsoft Word click here Download word doc

Please send your views directly to the Secretary of State Defra

Email: water.resources@defra.gsi.gov.uk with the subject: Affinity Water draft water resources management plan consultation.

Please copy your email to:

Or you can post it to
Water Resources Management Plan, Affinity Water Limited, Tamblin Way, Hatfield, Herts, AL10 9EZ


GARD would be grateful if you could please copy your responses to gard.chair@gmail.com , and to local County and District councillors and to our MPs Ed Vaizey and Layla Moran


GARD Annual General Meeting

The GARD AGM will be held on Tuesday 30th April at 7.30pm 
in the Millenium Room of Steventon Village Hall. The meeting will include an update on the Reservoir situation, and our discussions with Ofwat. Our membership has grown considerably and we are always looking for new committee members. If you would like to join the committee, please contact our secretary, Deborah Bennett, at  gard.secretary@gmail.com.

Also, if you wish to join GARD, lifetime membership is £10 (under 18s and full-time students £5). You can download a membership application form at our website <Just Click Here>

ABOUT GARD (Group Against Reservoir Development). GARD is a group of individuals whose aim is to identify and promote viable solutions to meet the future needs of water users in the Thames Water Region. GARD is advised by eminent water industry practitioners. Our committee is composed of voluntary, unpaid members with technical experience, each of whom is free from any political or vested interests. Click here for names of committee members and advisors.



Ofwat slam Thames Water and Affinity Water business plans – put them 'in the slow lane' for approval.

As was widely reported in the press, Ofwat, the water regulator, has issued a damaging report on several water companies' business plans and said they are not fit for purpose. Foremost amongst these are Thames Water and Affinity, who have not received approval to proceed.

Report from GARD  - March-April 2019

Affinity Water publish their plan for consultation – partnership on reservoir with Thames Water is 'preferred option'

Affinity Water published their revised draft Water Resources Management Plan 2019-2024 (known as rdWRMP19) on 1st March. The consultation on this plan runs until 26th April.

Opposition grows to Reservoir proposal.
Revised draft plan still fails to make the case.

The consultation on Thames Water's revised draft Water Resources Management Plan 2019-2024 (known as rdWRMP19) closed on 28th November.

GARD submitted a robust paper opposing the plan. (Click this link to download a copy). We are still convinced that there is no justification for Thames Water's proposed mega-reservoir – at least not before the 2080s.

Act Now to stop the Reservoir Proposal! - November 2018 -
Thames have announced that their new plan will propose to bring the Abingdon Reservoir forward to start construction in 2025 (a decade earlier than previously). - CLICK TO READ MORE  bullet

Thames Water concede the case for a second public consultation - November 2018 - Thames Water have issued a press statement conceding the case for a second public consultation on their revised Management Plan 2019-2024. - CLICK TO READ MORE  bullet

GARD Chairman briefs Oxfordshire County Councillors on Reservoir Proposals and dangers - September 2018 - The Chairman of GARD, Dr Derek Stork, briefed a meeting of Oxfordshire County Councillors on the Thames Water reservoir proposals.- CLICK TO READ MORE  bullet

Thames Water Draft Plan (dWRMP19) still fails to justify a reservoir! - April 2018 -
GARD submitted a robust rebuttal to TW's plan. - CLICK TO READ MORE bullet

GARD Reservoir briefings given to Local Residents - 6th March 2018 -
GARD Chairman, Derek Stork, has given briefings to local residents about the fallacies and dangers in Thames Water's plans. - CLICK TO READ MORE bullet

Oxford Mail report on Thames Water's new plans: “ACT NOW TO BLOCK RESERVOIR” - 21st February 2018 - CLICK TO READ ARTICLE bullet

“Report by GARD shows that the Abingdon Reservoir would not be resilient against prolonged droughts and could be empty if a succession of dry winters occurred.” CLICK TO READ MORE bullet

You can now follow GARD on Facebook. CLICK TO VIEW bullet


There are many ways in which you can get involved with the campaign.

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The previously proposed Abingdon reservoir layout.