Kent reservoir needed to secure South East water supply

Tyler Hill The new reservoir would be between Broad Oak and Tyler Hill

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A new reservoir is needed in Kent to secure water supplies in the South East of England for the next 25 years, a water firm has said.

South East Water has compiled a draft plan showing it will need another 145 million litres per day by 2040.

The proposals include building a reservoir at Broad Oak, near Canterbury.

South East Water said more detailed proposals and consultation would be required before plans were submitted.

Residents, a parish council and rural campaigners have previously opposed plans for the reservoir but the company was allowed to publish the proposal in its 25-year plan, following a public inquiry.

The company is consulting customers across Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Berkshire and Hampshire on its draft proposals, which are expected to be published in 2014.

Recycled wastewater

Plans also include developing groundwater sources at Forest Row, Mayfield, Cowbeech, Aldershot and Maytham Farm, developing water-sharing schemes with five other companies, developing two water treatment works at Bray and Barcombe and building a desalination plant at Reculver.

The company also wants to take treated wastewater from plants at Aylesford and Peacehaven and put it into local rivers and treat it to make it safe to drink.

Asset director Paul Seeley said: "We're operating in the driest region of the country, and yet that same region will see more people and more homes over the next 25 years."

He said measures included reducing leakage and delivering metering and efficiency programmes.

But he added: "On their own, these types of initiatives will simply not be enough to meet the shortfall.

"So we are also proposing to share water with other water companies through longer and larger pipelines, recycle treated wastewater for drinking water, build a new reservoir in Kent and extend our existing Arlington Reservoir in East Sussex."

He said the proposals would deliver an extra 167 million litres of water a day.

The reservoir would cut across the River Stour valley

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