Havant Thicket Reservoir wins prestigious award for stakeholder engagement

Portsmouth Water’s Havant Thicket Reservoir project has been recognised for outstanding engagement with communities and stakeholders – winning a prestigious Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management award this October 2021.

The award reflects the team’s ability to adapt during the pandemic and their commitment to building relationships and engaging with the local and wider community.

Portsmouth Water, Create 51, Atkins and Agilia worked together to plan the final public consultation before the outline planning application was submitted in the Autumn of 2020.

When the Covid-19 restrictions made the planned ‘face-to-face’ approach impossible, they had to quickly adapt and deliver a fully remote consultation.

A Havant Thicket Stakeholder Group was established-bringing together a range of local stakeholders, environmental organisations, planning authorities and regulators, to review, challenge and inform reservoir design.

A series of public, stakeholder and staff webinars, were held. Offline options, for example mailing consultation brochures to more than 1,000 local people and offering a dedicated project answerphone service, were available for those unable to access the internet.

In total, they received 301 feedback forms and 277 responses from other channels (including post, phone, email, website comments and social media channels).

The feedback was summarised and responded to in a ‘You said, we’re doing’ report, explaining how the project design was altered and improved in response to the concerns and suggestions raised. This is available to view on the Portsmouth Water website:

Bob Taylor, Chief Executive Officer, Portsmouth Water, said: “I am absolutely delighted that the Havant Thicket Reservoir project has been recognised for community and stakeholder engagement, winning this prestigious award. Everyone involved with the project worked together to ensure we delivered outstanding customer and stakeholder engagement in the face of Covid-19 restrictions.

“We were delighted with the response to our consultation, receiving a large amount of feedback, where people had clearly taken time to find out more and share informed ideas, as well as asking valid questions.

“We are continuing to engage with the community as the project progresses and are always willing to listen, answer questions and take new ideas on board. As well as providing a sustainable source of water and protecting world-renowned chalk streams in Hampshire, Havant Thicket Reservoir will be an exciting, green leisure facility for the whole community and it’s the feedback and input from local people which will make this possible.”

Work on Havant Thicket Reservoir started this October 2021.

The reservoir, which is being funded by Southern Water, will secure vital water resources for the South East and help protect world-renowned chalk streams, the River Test and the River Itchen, in Hampshire.

For regular updates about Havant Thicket Reservoir, please sign up to the e-newsletter here: https://www.portsmouthwater.co.uk/new-reservoir/contact/

For more information about the reservoir, visit: www.portsmouthwater.co.uk/new-reservoir/

Further information about Havant Thicket Reservoir’s award for best practice in stakeholder engagement from the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management is available here: https://cieem.net/about-cieem/cieem-awards/awards-2021/

Contact Portsmouth Water with any questions or concerns by calling 023 9249 9888 or emailing us at: [email protected].

For more information contact Eleanor Shipton, Communications and Engagement Lead. Telephone 07570923703, e-mail: [email protected]


Notes to Editors

Website: www.portsmouthwater.co.uk

Twitter: @portsmouthwater

Portsmouth Water is one of the oldest water companies in the country, having been incorporated in 1857. We are proud sponsors of EBP Schools STEM Fair, Education at Staunton Country Park and Water Aid.

Our Water Sources

Our water, of high quality, is derived from the chalk of the South Downs and is abstracted from wells, boreholes, springs and the River Itchen. The Springs at Havant and Bedhampton are thought to be the largest group of springs used for public supplies in Europe.


We serve 316,000 homes and businesses in an area covering 868 square kilometres (335 square miles) from the River Meon in Hampshire to the River

Arun in West Sussex. Every day we supply around 170 million litres (37 million gallons) of water to a population of over 720,000 people at the lowest cost in England and Wales.

Our Network

Water is supplied to our customers through a network of over 3,300 kilometres (2,000 miles) of underground water mains and more than 300,000 individual service connections, all of which are continuously maintained by our distribution staff.

Havant Thicket Reservoir

The reservoir is earmarked for a 160-hectare site between Staunton Country Park and Havant Thicket, in Havant, which is owned by Portsmouth Water. At 1.6km from east to west and 0.8km from north to south, it will hold approximately 8,700 million litres of water, and able to supply up to 21 million litres of water each day. It would be filled in the winter from surplus water pumped from the prolific Bedhampton springs in Havant. The reservoir is included in the local planning authorities’ local plans and Portsmouth Water is working in partnership with neighbouring Staunton Country Park, Hampshire County Council and Forestry England as it develops the plans.