Proposed Cambridgeshire reservoir could become 'destination' with water sports and paths

Artist's impression of what the reservoir in the Fens could look like
Artist's impression of what the reservoir in the Fens could look like -Credit:Anglian Water

Anglian Water and Cambridge Water have released an artist's impression of a proposed reservoir in the Fens. The reservoir, which would be near Chatteris, could be built in the shape of an ammonite.

The water companies said they hoped the proposed reservoir could become "an exciting new visitor destination". The reservoir embankments would include public pathways and there is potential to use the reservoir for water sports.

A second phase of public consultation on the proposals will take place between May 30 and July 25. A spokesperson for the water companies said: "Over the eight-week consultation period, the water companies will be asking for feedback on the proposed design and the associated water infrastructure required to fill the reservoir, treat the water, and transport it to homes and businesses."

Met Office projections show that the East of England will become hotter and drier in summer and wetter in winter. The water companies said demand for water will outstrip the available supply within the next decade "unless bold action is taken".

Geoff Darch, Head of Supply Demand at Anglian Water said: "In a future with more people but less reliable rainfall the reservoir will have a crucial role to provide future water supply. However, our aspiration goes beyond a reservoir for public water supply.

"Our intention is to design a reservoir that the local community can be proud of, and that will encourage people to visit and enjoy its surroundings. The reservoir will benefit the local environment, creating new opportunities for nature to flourish, as well as contributing to the health and wellbeing of the community and boosting the local economy."

The reservoir would collect excess river water in winter and store it for use during the summer. The companies said this would "reduce the reliance on sensitive ground water sources such as chalk streams".

Natalie Akroyd, Director of Quality and Environment for Cambridge Water, added: "Engaging with local communities and wider stakeholders is an important part of how we are developing our plans and we look forward to updating the public on other key aspects of the project at our upcoming consultation.

"We will be hosting a wide range of consultation materials on the project website, while engaging directly with the community through a series of in-person events across the proposed area, ensuring information is accessible to as many people as possible."