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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.





Thames Water fined by regulator over 'Unacceptable' Leakage Performance
June 2017
Thames Water have been fined by the water regulator, OFWAT, over its 'unacceptable' leakage performance. Click here to see the full story.
The fine of £8.55M, comes only months after Thames Water was fined £20M by the Environment Agency for pouring 1.4Billion gallons of raw sewage into the Thames. OFWAT has now opened an investigation into the company, and the OFWAT Chairman has called for 'reform' of Thames Water's behaviour and governance saying Thames Water must make an urgent “step change in the way it operates and behaves”. Click here to see the full story.
GARD's view is that it is surely wrong for Thames Water to renege on leakage targets and still pay its shareholders over £100M when it is fined a quantity less than 10% of this for failing to address leaks in a serious manner. It is still true (as it was in 2010) that Thames Water leaks over one quarter of the water it supplies. It is a fact that, if Thames Water's leakage performance was as good as the industry leaders, it would save over 300 Million litres of water per day (that is roughly 1 litre in every 8 it supplies to London). The projected Abingdon Reservoir would supply only 280 Million litres per day – the public should not tolerate this..

GARD hold Public Meeting in East Hanney to brief residents on Reservoir Plans
June 2017
GARD held a Public Meeting in the War Memorial Hall in East Hanney on 12th June 2017, to brief residents on the plans for the Reservoir. The meeting was well attended, and a lively debate followed a presentation by GARD Hon Chairman, Derek Stork. It was notable that the questioning showed that the attendees were almost entirely opposed to the Thames Water plans. It was also notable that new residents, in the new developments of housing on the very edge of the proposed Thames Water site (all of which have been built since 2010), had been told nothing about the proposed development, either officially or by their solicitors.
Dr Derek Stork, GARD Chairman, commented after the meeting that: “It is unacceptable to play with people's communities and futures like this. It is notable that we had an audience of more than twice the number of people for tonight's meeting compared to that for Thames Water's 'information' meeting in Abingdon earlier this month.Thames Water only go through the motions of consulting – they carefully selected the invitations to the earlier meeting. There were more Thames Water staff at that meeting than members of the public.”
The presentation of the latest situation and the GARD case can be seen here by clicking this link.

GARD's AGM 2017
April 2017
The AGM was held in St Michael's Church Hall in Steventon, and was well-attended. The members present were briefed by Hon Chairman, Dr Derek Stork, that the huge 'Abingdon' reservoir was amongst Thames Water's shortlisted projects for implementation in the 2019-2024 Water Resources Management Plan. GARD would be stepping up its opposition to these plans over the next 9-12 months, and moving onto a Campaigning footing. He listed and discussed the widespread local political support for GARD's position, including local MP, Ed Vaizey, Leader of the Vale of White Horse District Council, Cllr Matthew Barber, Council for the Protection of Rural England, The Wantage and Grove Action Group and the four local affected Parish Councils (Steventon, Hanney, Drayton and Marcham).
Retiring Hon Secretary, Lesley Lovell was thanked for her work over the last decade and more, in supporting two Chairmen (Nick Thompson and Derek Stork). Also thanked were, Nick Rogers, the Hon Treasurer for over a decade, who was stepping down (but would remain on the committee), and retiring committee member, and former Hon Vice-Chairman, Michael Robson.
Download PDF version of the Chairman's report Document

January 2017
GARD Chairmen Derek Stork has recently briefed local Parish Councils on the Reservoir threat still contained in Thames Water's plans."
Download PDF version of the Council Briefing Document

November 2014
We continue to concentrate on holding Thames Water (TW) to account in their researches into the main options for a major water resource to supply London’s needs from 2030 onwards.
These options are:

  • Re-use of treated waste water,
  • Bulk water storage in times of plenty (new reservoirs),
  • Transfer of water from the R.Severn to the R.Thames,
  • Desalinisation.

  • MORE

    November 2014
    The content of GARD’s website is widely recognised for its combination of technical professionalism and easy-to-read style. Remarkably, during the 12 months to end October 2014, this website received 7200 visits, of which 62% were repeats. Our website is designed to inform and to convince those logging on to it. Our aim is to target water experts, national & local governmental agencies & officials, politicians, journalists, teachers & students as well as a wide range of interested members of the public, especially local residents with a vital concern for the outcome of Thames Water’s planning intentions.


    September 2014

    Following the Public Inquiry, the Inspector rejected Thames Water’s proposal for the Upper Thames Reservoir (UTR) near Abingdon for inclusion in their 2014-2019 Plan, and required them to examine in detail an alternative of a water transfer from the Severn to Thames. Thames Water are continuing their studies of this option which has long been advocated by GARD and others. At present, these studies are focusing on possible environmental impacts of such transfers.

    Click here to download a PDF of GARD’s full report.


    GARD has already responded in detail to Thames Water’s proposed plan by pointing out serious errors and inconsistencies in their calculations, and the data on which TW has based their plan. GARD has instead put forward alternatives which focus on water supply options. Click the link below for GARD’s full response to the public consultation, which has been sent to Defra, the Environment Agency, Ofwat, the Consumer Council for Water, CPRE and the Cotswold Canal Trust

    Click here to download a PDF of GARD’s full response to the public consultation.


    The Secretary of State for DEFRA published the 2011 report by Inspector Wendy Burden on the Thames Water draft Water Resources Plan following the Public Inquiry. She has accepted the Inspector’s conclusions which were that the plan did not meet the statutory requirements under the Water Industry Act, and that the measures Thames Water proposed should be adopted were not fully justified by the evidence.

    Click here to download a PDF of this press release.


    PRESS RELEASE 10th May 2010
    Thames Water reservoir proposals will cause environmental destruction

    GARD has highlighted studies which show that Thames Water’s proposals for a new Abingdon reservoir would create great environmental damage and habitat destruction on and around the reservoir site. MORE

    Click here to download a PDF of this press release.


    PRESS RELEASE 26th April 2010
    Abingdon Reservoir would increase serious flood risk 

    GARD is warning that local land and villages will be hit by more flooding in the future if plans to build Abingdon Reservoir get the go‐ahead. The area is already susceptible to flooding with many homes in South Abingdon and nearby villages, such as Steventon, being flooded as recently as 2007. MORE

    Click here to download a PDF of this press release.


    PRESS RELEASE 12th April 2010
    Thames Water reveals 10 year Abingdon reservoir construction blight.

    GARD has brought to light an environmental report, commissioned by Thames Water, which sets out that their proposed Abingdon reservoir would create massive upheaval and environmental damage. There would be up to 900 vehicle movements on and off the site, potentially causing huge inconvenience and delays at the A34/Marcham interchange, which is already very busy at peak times. MORE

    Click here to download a PDF of this press release.


    We should change the landscape of peoples’ minds rather than the landscape of Oxfordshire.

    Bruce Tremayne, recently retired Chairman of CPRE Oxfordshire, criticises the rush to construct a reservoir before other options have been exhausted... MORE