Portsmouth Water has unveiled plans to submit a planning application to build a new reservoir in Hampshire.
Small drilling rigs and JCB-type excavators will arrive on the company’s land between Staunton Country Park and Havant Thicket, in Havant, to take soil samples and install monitors to measure underground water levels.
Under the plans the company will also create a new, public leisure space for nearby communities and a wildlife haven with wetlands for birds.
It would be first reservoir to be built in the South East since the 1970s and is being developed in partnership with Southern Water.
Contractors will set up on the site at the end of this month (October) and investigations on the soil and groundwater will be carried out in November and December. This will involve creating temporary boreholes and shallow excavations on the grassland. The work will avoid key areas of sensitive wildlife habitat and the wooded areas.
Bob Taylor, CEO of Portsmouth Water, said: “It’s an exciting time as we take these vital first steps on the ground to gather information to inform the design of the reservoir. Whilst we don’t expect any disruption for local residents, we will be doing all we can to minimise the impact of the work.
“We’ll be preparing the planning application for the reservoir over the next 12 months and as we do this we’ll be talking to residents, businesses, local groups and community representatives in the local area to share ideas and gather their views.
“The South East as a whole is seriously water-stressed and whilst we are fortunate to have reliable supplies, building the reservoir means we can capture spare spring water to supply our customers and release water in the west of Hampshire to share with our neighbours in Southern Water’s region.
“We’re all facing the challenges of climate change and population growth, so it’s important we work together to make the best use of the water available and protect our rivers and wildlife across Hampshire.”
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