River Cam crisis: Tony Juniper suggests ‘major new reservoirs’

The chair of Natural England has suggested that creating new reservoir capacity should be considered in order to alleviate pressure on the River Cam, which environmentalists have warned is under serious threat from low rainfall and abstraction.

“Our local Cambridge river is seriously stressed, not least due to abstraction of groundwater for public supply,” Tony Juniper wrote on Twitter. “Thousands of new houses [are] going in and that will increase demand more. Do we need to build some major new reservoirs in the south-east of England?”

Plans to construct up to one million new homes by 2050 along the Oxford-Cambridge Arc, a major new infrastructure project, “will increase demand for water, transport and everything else”, Juniper added. “The question is can that be done sustainably?”

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