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THOUSANDS OF ACRES AT RISK FROM RESERVOIR PLANS

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Thousands of acres of English countryside could be flooded to form a new network of reservoirs, according to The In...
Thousands of acres of English countryside could be flooded to form a new network of reservoirs, according to The Independent on Sunday (p5).

The plans, drawn up by water companies to deal with rising demands and dwindling natural supplies as the climate warms and dries, are for seven new reservoir developments and six desalination plants, the first in Britain.

A broad outline of the plans will be published next month, but details of the developments are being kept secret to avoid public outcry and planning problems.

But the newspaper said it could reveal that two big reservoirs - the first in Britain for three decades - are planned for near Abingdon, Oxfordshire, and near Canterbury, Kent, and that Beckton in east London has been earmarked for Britain's first desalination plant. Most of the other reservoirs are also planned for the south east of England and several desalination plants are proposed for the south coast.

The plans are being submitted as part of the five-yearly review of water pricing. They have already provoked outrage from the Environment Agency, which says that water companies have not done enough to tackle leakage and should do more to curb demand.

In Britain, the amount of water used by each household has doubled in 30 years as more dishwashers, power showers and jacuzzis are installed.

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