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Discussions over South Lynn reservoir to retain River Great Ouse water

The managing director of an independent water company has set out plans for additional storage of water in the landscape, which could result in a reservoir being constructed in Lynn.

Robin Price of Water Resources East (WRE) told West Norfolk councillors this week about the not-for-profit company’s aims for the region, which includes water-related climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies.

Founded by Anglian Water in 2014, WRE has since become independent and works with partners such as West Norfolk Council and Norfolk County Council in the East.

The River Great Ouse, King's Lynn
The River Great Ouse, King's Lynn

Mr Price said WRE are seeking to slow the flow of water through the land and minimise the amount of water heading to the sea.

Having told the council’s environment and community panel about a new reservoir in South Lincolnshire, which will collect water from the River Trent, Mr Price said a similar reservoir is needed for the River Great Ouse.

In response, councillor Alex Kemp suggested exploring the open channel in South Lynn, east of Hardings Way, the Nar Valley Bed.

She said this would be ideal for a reservoir which Mr Price said he would love to hear more about after the meeting.

"The more ideas we have got concerning a series of assets retaining water in the landscape the bteer," Mr Price said.

Mr Price also agreed with councillor Sandra Squire by saying WRE will add their voice against those planning development on floodplains.

Mrs Squire also highlighted the issue of sewage being discharged into the rivers, and sought assurance from WRE regarding this.

Mr Price replied: "What we want to do is identify solutions, we can't say let's not use that water because it's too dirty. We want to encourage investment further upstream through the Environment Agency.

"We are planning for a drainage system so sewage does not find itself into rivers. Water quality is important to us as well."

Councillor Chris Morley said he had seen reports suggesting we could run out of water by 2040, something he asked Mr Price about during the meeting.

"That's come from the Environment Agency and yes if we do nothing, if we do not get on top of the demand for water then yes those numbers are real," Mr Price said.

"There is a huge deficit and now is the time to act. They are not scare figures."

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