Possible Funding from Water Transfer

Cotswold Canals Water Transfer Scheme

Proposals are underway to secure the nation’s water resources for the future.

Among the various regional groups, Water Resources South East (WRSE), an alliance of the six water companies that supply drinking water across London and the South East of England, have now submitted draft proposals for addressing the region’s increasing vulnerability to serious water shortages:

WRSE draft Best Value Plan: https://wrse.uk.engagementhq.com/our-consultation

Water resources are under pressure, and this will increase with time.

The proposal, being put forward by the Cotswold Canals Trust, could see up to 300 million litres of water per day being transferred from the River Severn to the River Thames via the canal. Connecting the River Severn to the Thames would not only enhance our natural environment but also be sustainable and would provide wider recreational and social benefits compared to a buried pipeline. Solutions to transfer water to regions with shortfalls are being evaluated but the Cotswold Canals Severn-Thames Transfer is not included in the draft plans even though it delivers so much more.

“This scheme has huge advantages over more traditional solutions like reservoirs and pipelines,” says Ken Burgin, Director at the Cotswold Canals Trust. “We end up with a restored canal, no loss of countryside and less need to keep taking water from the ground in the South East.”

The restoration of the Cotswold Canals is a project of national importance, the water transfer scheme is almost certainly the most promising way of getting the restoration of the whole 36 miles of the Thames – Severn link restored within perhaps 12 years or so.

The Trust believes the Severn Thames Transfer is the best value option – one that considers a range of factors alongside economic cost and seeks to achieve an outcome that increases the overall benefit to customers, the wider environment and society. It is also deliverable more quickly than other solutions being advocated in the current draft plan. The time to act is now and you can have your say on the sustainable Cotswold Canals Severn Thames water transfer in the following ways:

Emailing WRSE via contact@wrse.org.uk by 20th February 2023.

Thames Water are running a parallel, but separate, consultation on their draft Water Resource Management Plan with a deadline of 21st March 2023.

You also can email your feedback to both the consultation@thames-wrmp.co.uk and copy in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) at


More information on our canal solution https://cotswoldcanals.org/wxfer/