PROPOSALS to build a major reservoir for the whole of the south east region have today been unveiled by Portsmouth Water.
The move, part of the company’s latest draft water resource management plan, would see a reservoir built at Havant Thicket by 2029 – and it would provide 23 million litres of water per day.
It’s one of six schemes the company has chosen to present to the public as part of a consultation, in order to secure the water needed for the next 25 years.
Neville Smith, managing director of Portsmouth Water, said: ‘We’ve already held conversations with customers about their water supplies and what’s important to them, and these have been taken into account in our draft plan.
‘An exciting part of that is a new, major water resource for the south east – a reservoir at Havant Thicket.
‘This reservoir will help us share our other water resources with other water companies and increase the reliability of our customer supplies.
‘We do not expect building the reservoir to have any impact on customers’ bills, as it will be funded by charges for the transfer of water from our other resources to neighbouring companies.
‘What’s important now is for customers to have their say on the plans.
‘It’s their water and their views will help us decide how we plan for the future.’
The reservoir would take 10 years to plan, build and fill with water taken from the springs in Havant during winter, and used to top up water supplies in the summer as needed.
Portsmouth Water would need to build a pipeline from the springs to the reservoir in order to do so.
The plans also include a visitor centre, paths, cycle ways, play areas and water sports facilities, plus a wetland area for birds.
The scheme would allow the company to provide more water to customers in west Hampshire, who are supplied by Southern Water.
Councillor David Guest, cabinet lead for planning and place-making at Havant Borough Council, said: ‘The council has been working with Portsmouth Water and the Environment Agency for many years regarding the need for a new water supply.
‘The Havant Thicket reservoir would be a key piece of infrastructure.
‘The area for it is identified as a key site in the council’s draft Local Plan 2036, together with the route for the pipeline from Bedhampton Springs to the reservoir site.
‘The reservoir would also have major leisure and recreation potential.’
Portsmouth Water’s consultation will run from today until May 25.
Have your say at portsmouthwater.co.uk.