What is the project?
This project is a new river abstraction on the River Thames close to Teddington Weir. Water abstracted from the river would be transferred via an existing underground tunnel to the Lee Valley reservoirs in East London. Highly treated recycled water would be moved from Mogden sewage treatment works upstream to compensate for the additional water taken from the river to protect the environment and wildlife. The project will provide up to 75 million litres per day as a drought resilience project. It would only be used during periods of prolonged dry weather.
Why do we need this project?
We need additional water resources from the early 2030s so that we can be confident we can supply a secure water supply to our customers during severe drought events. Working with WRSE we have undertaken further modelling and testing of the regional plan and have concluded that the direct river abstraction is the best value project to increase our drought resilience in London, and it can be ready by 2033.
Have we listened to local concerns and how has it shaped the plan?
We’ve listened to concerns raised by the local community about the perceived public health and environmental impact of the project. So far, we’ve completed initial assessments, including environmental and water quality monitoring, the results of which show that the project presents a low risk to the environment, and the risks can be mitigated.
We’re continuing to carry out more detailed assessments in consultation with the Environment Agency, Natural England, the Drinking Water Inspectorate and other stakeholders. We’ll share this work with the local community when it’s ready and ensure there is sufficient opportunity for consultation and engagement on the outcomes of assessments and as the project is developed.
What happens next?
We’ll continue to do more detailed engineering, project design and environmental studies to develop the project prior to submitting a formal planning application. We’ll continue to engage with local communities and stakeholders throughout this work. We’ll also continue to examine a potential water recycling project in east London as a reserve option.