In the 1990s the demand for water in the Essex supply area was predicted to rise by around 6% over a period of 25 years, almost entirely due to an increase in population. There was therefore a need to make available a long term and sustainable increase in water resources.
We have invested £150million in the Abberton Scheme. It was the first major water resources development in the country for 30 years and has secured the supply of water to one and a half million people in Essex for many years into the future.
The construction phase of the scheme started in 2010 and was completed in 2014. The reservoir reached its new top water level in March 2015 and Sir David Attenborough marked the completion of the scheme at an official opening ceremony on 3 June 2015. Please click here to watch highlights of the opening event.
The scheme included the enlargement and enhancement of Abberton Reservoir, the installation of two large raw water pipelines and the construction of a new pumping station. The enlargement together with various habitat creation and management measures that form part of the scheme, have been designed to increase the value of the reservoir for birds and other wildlife. The scheme has also provided additional benefits for the local community and wider public who visit the site.
The Abberton Scheme comprised three parts, please click on the related links to the right for more detailed information on each of the elements. Please click here to watch a short film and here to watch an animation about the scheme.