Interesting feature on locals’ views around plans by Thames Water for a new reservoir in Oxfordshire, in the Guardian

It will be like a giant flan case full of water dumped on a marsh, says Julie Mabberley. She is discussing the plan to put a 150bn-litre reservoir, spanning almost two miles across, to the south-west of Abingdon in Oxfordshire.

Mabberley, a management consultant and local campaigner with 1,000 people on her list of anti-reservoir sympathisers, believes the 25-metre-high walls needed to keep in the huge volume of water would be too close to hundreds of homes built near the site to be safe.

Her doubts, and those of other campaigners, about the feasibility and safety of the £1.4bn reservoir feed into an unresolved debate over the need for extra water storage in the south and east of England.

Britain’s water companies are grabbing the headlines after spilling vast amounts of raw sewage near beaches and into rivers. But the other problem bubbling away is the need for them to provide more water, especially in the east and south-east, where natural stores in underground aquifers are being sucked dry. After more than three decades of privatisation, debate is raging about the ownership of water companies, the extraction of huge sums in dividends, and how vast and vital upgrades to infrastructure are funded as the climate changes.

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