New reservoir plans for Fens and Lincolnshire

A picture of a reservoir

Anglian Water is developing proposals for two new reservoirs. One is proposed to be in the Fens while the other will be located in Lincolnshire. Follow the progress of this consultation. 

3 April 2023

Anglian Water and Cambridge Water provide summary of responses

Anglian Water and Cambridge Water have provided summary documents of the responses that were received following the consultation.

The NFU was advised that the summary documents would be a high-level analysis of the responses submitted, and that it would not cover any detailed points that may have been made by individuals or the NFU.

We expect specific points to be followed up in coming months as the reservoir design and the infrastructure around it is further developed.

NFU Members can download the feedback summary:

30 December 2022

NFU responds to reservoir consultations

The NFU has submitted our response to the non-statutory consultations on the proposed reservoirs in Lincolnshire and in the Fens. 

The NFU is concerned about the impact the building of such large reservoirs will have on farm businesses and agricultural production on a permanent basis, and during construction, when more land will be required on a temporary basis.

We continue to work closely with members who will be affected by these proposals.

NFU members can download our consultation responses: 

21 November 2022

Preparing your consultation response to the proposed reservoirs

Following the launch of the non-statutory consultation on the reservoir schemes, the NFU has held further meetings with affected members in South Lincolnshire and in the Fens. 

Anglian Water representatives, and a representative from its land agents Fisher German, responded to the request from the NFU to attend these meetings. This provided an opportunity for affected members to ask for more detail about the proposals. 

It is important members have their say on these proposed reservoir schemes. The Planning Inspectorate will be looking for, and ensuring, full engagement has taken place and that comments have been taken on board by Anglian Water. All responses to the consultation will be recorded.

We have put together a helpful guide to support you in producing your response with top tips on things to include (member login required). 

The need for the reservoirs has been defined through the water company Water Resource Management Plans and the Water Resources East Regional Plan, both of which highlight the need to secure alternative water supplies due to climate change, growing population and protecting and restoring the environment.

12 October 2022

Public consultation launched on reservoir proposals

Anglian Water has launched its non-statutory consultation on the reservoir schemes for the Fens and for South Lincolnshire. Members can view full details on two new websites, and

The consultation documents include:

  • A site selection report
  • Consultation brochure, which includes information on the community consultation events taking place in November, as well as two community webinars
  • Anglian Water's approach to community consultation
  • Proposed site area map
  • Consultation feedback form.

The consultation runs until 21 December and the NFU will be considering its response. We are urging members likely to be affected to attend one of the community events, to ask for a one-to-one meeting with Anglian Water and to start thinking about your individual response to the consultation.

We are also organising group meetings to hear your views. Contact NFU CallFirst on 0370 8458458 for more information.

10 October 2022

Anglian Water publishes concept plans

On 10 October, Anglian Water announced further details of the two proposed reservoirs.  While the plans are still at an early stage, Anglian Water has published the ‘concept plans’ for both preferred sites which provide more information on the site location. 

The public consultation is due to be launched on Wednesday 12 October and Anglian Water has advised there will be opportunities for farmers and growers to have their say. 

The NFU is arranging member meetings. Please contact NFU CallFirst for further details.

5 September 2022

Proposals for Fens and Lincolnshire reservoirs unveiled by Anglian Water

Anglian Water is preparing to consult on plans for two major new reservoirs, one in Lincolnshire and one in the Fens in partnership with Cambridge Water.

It says the reservoirs are needed to secure a reliable supply of water for the future. They will help to protect the region from future climate change events, including hotter summers and potential future droughts.

Anglian Water and its agents, Fisher German, will be offering one-to-one meetings with farmers, landowners and residents likely to be affected by the schemes before its preferred sites are publicly announced in the autumn.

For more information, visit: Anglian Water | Anglian Water drives forward plans for two new reservoirs to secure future water demand

NFU position on the reservoir schemes

NFU Deputy President Tom Bradshaw said: “The NFU fully supports the need to expand strategic water supply infrastructure in the Anglian Water region as a critical response to climate change and population growth. The past few months have demonstrated the pressure our water resources are facing.

“It is critical that the importance of water to build resilience in our domestic food production systems is recognised and the NFU believes that farming businesses must be able to benefit from the additional water resources that new reservoirs will provide.

“However, such major reservoir schemes can have significant adverse impacts on farm businesses and the people involved. It’s vital that the design and implementation during construction must be carried out in a way that minimises the impact on land ownership and farming operations.

“The development process must protect the needs of farmers, landowners and tenants to ensure they are actively involved in decision-making at all stages.

“We will be working to support any members affected by these schemes and to ensure that agricultural water needs are recognised as an explicit part of future resource use plans.”

NFU involvement

The NFU has been actively involved in promoting a more integrated approach to water management in both South Lincolnshire and the Fens for many years. This includes working to ensure increased water availability for farmers in the Anglian Water region is one of the benefits of any reservoir scheme.

We have not sought to promote one site over another as we recognise all sites will impact on members.

However, we have worked with other stakeholders with the aim of ensuring the site criteria used by Anglian Water reflects the needs of landowners and farming businesses at the potential locations and the wider area.

We have also continued to highlight the issues and impacts that such large infrastructure projects can have on farmland, as set out in our policy position published in 2021. 

Read: NFU position statement on reservoirs

What happens next?

Anglian Water will be launching a non-statutory consultation to gauge public opinion on the preferred sites, likely to run for the rest of 2022.

It will seek views from landowners, regional stakeholders such as the local authorities, and specialist groups responsible for areas such as the environment, landscape, wildlife, heritage, local economy, and other important factors. A statutory consultation is due to follow in 2023.

Members who are affected by either scheme should, in the first instance, contact NFU CallFirst on 0370 845 8458

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This page was first published on 05 September 2022. It was updated on 03 April 2023.

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  • Anglian Water is developing plans for two major reservoirs in the Fens and Lincolnshire.
  • The NFU has promoted an integrated approach to water management for many years.
  • We say any expansion of strategic water supply infrastructure should be carried out at minimum disruption to farmers, land owners and tenants.
  • Anglian Water's non-statutory consultation closed on 21 December 2022.
  • A statutory consultation will follow in 2023.