Feedback shared on new reservoir plans to secure future water supplies

Photo of consultation documentsTogether with Anglian Water, we have published a summary of the feedback received from the first phase of consultation on the proposed new reservoir in the Fens, which will secure the water supply to customers for future generations.

Feedback received was in response to the first phase of consultation, launched in Autumn 2022, during which the community and wider stakeholders were asked for their views on what the reservoir could deliver to help shape the design of the reservoir. This was the first of a minimum of three phases of consultation and this early feedback, together with the commencement of environmental surveys and assessments, will help to develop design proposals for the reservoir.

“After the driest February in more than 60 years in the East of England, it’s clear that we can expect more extreme weather as our climate continues to change. This will put even more pressure on our region’s water resources meaning that we need to plan now for the future.

“On average, our region has a third less rainfall than anywhere else in the country, so we’re well versed in preparing for periods of prolonged dry weather and carefully managing our resources to ensure we can meet demand while leaving plenty in the environment for nature to thrive. That’s why projects like this are so critical for the future, as without taking this action now, our region’s facing a huge water deficit.

“What we can’t do is ‘make more water’, so while we’re investing heavily to carefully manage water resources now and into the future, we also need customers to help by continuing to do their bit too, using water as sustainably as possible.”

Dr Geoff Darch, Water Resources Strategy Manager for Anglian Water

More than 500 people attended community and online events for the reservoir, which is proposed to be located north of Chatteris and close to the villages of Doddington and Wimblington, and could supply enough water for a quarter of a million homes. Since the consultation closed, we have been considering all feedback to understand what the community and stakeholders would like to see from the proposals.

We asked for feedback on the area identified for the reservoir, the pink area (for the proposed reservoir and its embankments) and grey area (for supporting infrastructure, construction and additional measures).

Plan showing the location of the reservoirWe received 346 feedback submissions from people sharing their thoughts, concerns, and ideas on what the reservoir could bring.

Alongside public feedback, local authorities, specialist organisations, and representatives from the agricultural community also responded to the consultation.


People are enthusiastic about the possibility of walking and cycling routes, with access possible from local villages to allow communities to benefit from the reservoir.

They want to see measures that support nature and biodiversity, and help preserve or enhance existing waterways.

Feedback asked for the surrounding environment, including the Ouse Washes, to be carefully considered.

Respondents also sought reassurance that any potential impacts will be carefully considered. This included potential effects on the surrounding area and villages, including visual effects and impacts on local roads.

People also said business and property owners, potentially affected by the proposals, should continue to be important in the water companies’ plans.

“We want to thank everyone for the feedback they submitted as part of our first phase of consultation. It is vital communities engage with us and we listen to them and their reactions to our proposals.

“The reservoir in the Fens forms a vital part of our plan to protect our region’s water supply for years to come. Our vision for this project goes beyond building a reservoir – we want to create a place where water, people and nature come together.

“It’s clear people share this view and are excited by the potential of creating a place for local communities and visitors to enjoy and explore, and for nature to thrive. “You also told us that the design of the reservoir will be very important and should help to ensure positive outcomes for the local community. . We’re keen to look at opportunities for access to the reservoir from Chatteris, Doddington, Wimblington, and other villages, for those travelling by foot, cycle or car.

“Of course, we also understand the effect on those impacted by our proposals including homeowners, landowners and the nearby community. We’re committed to working with everyone as the project develops.”

Dr Geoff Darch, Water Resources Strategy Manager for Anglian Water

“We’re grateful to everyone who took part in our first phase of consultation, and we are looking forward to engaging with the local community more as the project develops.

“Throughout 2023, our team will be conducting surveys of the proposed site to help inform our environmental assessments of the project. We’re working closely with landowners to agree access for surveys and answer ongoing questions about what our plans mean for property and businesses.

“Over the course of the year we’ll develop a design of the reservoir, adding detail to potential features and how we propose to use the land in the pink and grey areas we’ve identified. This includes how it will be accessed, supporting infrastructure, and recreational opportunities.

“We’re looking forward to sharing more details in the next consultation in 2024.”

Natalie Akroyd, Head of Water Strategy and Environment for Cambridge Water.

The feedback summary can be found on the project website, alongside an FAQ page, other information materials and contact details if people would like to get in touch. 

Fens Reservoir website

View the summary of the feedback.

Fens Reservoir

Read more about the reservoir on our website.

Posted: 16 March 2023