New reservoirs would fix East’s water supplies for a century
IN 1971, the Great Ouse River Authority announced that, as the proportion of the total resources used for meeting water supply demands increased, it would become more and more difficult to maintain adequate water quality in the rivers and streams.
It had, some years before, been looking into using The Wash estuary for storage purposes by building a barrage to enclose the waters from the Welland, Nene and Great Ouse.
In 1971, the Secretary of State for the Environment recommended that a full report be authorised. The report was completed four years later, but turned down because it would have taken 10 years before the salt water had been replaced by fresh.
A less costly plan was drawn up to build a bunded reservoir for the Bedford Ouse only. This scheme would have been of great benefit, as it would enable the Bedford waters to discharge 24 hours a day, rather than at the moment, when when it can be discharged only at certain stages of the tide.
This would make an enormous difference to our flooding. As the need for more water arises, the other two rivers could also have bunded reservoirs that would satisfy the whole of East Anglia for the next 100 years.
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