REPORT FROM GARD September 2014
GARD REJECTS THAMES WATER’S WORKING ASSUMPTIONS
EVALUATING SEVERN THAMES TRANSFER OPTION
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.
However, GARD is very concerned that Thames Water’s consultants carrying out these studies are being supplied with misleading data. This data will result in the Severn transfer option appearing unattractive- in respect of water delivered, pumping energy required, and environmental impact.
GARD’s water resources expert adviser, John Lawson FREng, has prepared the attached paper countering such misleading data from Thames Water, which is intended to be used by their consultants in the evaluations of the various versions of the Severn transfer schemes. His paper (click for link) demonstrates that, using such data, the outputs of these versions are substantially lower than should in practice be the case, and the transfer pumping times are unjustifiably higher than needed.
Mr Lawson’s paper shows that, using his data, the schemes have the potential to make a major contribution to the future water needs of Thames Water’s regions.
GARD will continue to press Thames Water to alter its flawed input assumptions currently being used for this study, and will be taking our concerns up with the Environment Agency.