Southern Water consults on plans to keep Hampshire’s rivers and taps flowing

People are being asked for their views on plans for new sustainable water sources to protect Hampshire’s iconic chalk streams and maintain supplies for customers.

Southern Water is consulting on its Hampshire Water Transfer and Water Recycling Project which will enable it to take less water from the sensitive chalk streams of the River Test and River Itchen during a drought, while maintaining essential supplies.

The plans centre around the Havant Thicket Reservoir which is being funded by Southern Water and developed in collaboration with Portsmouth Water in an innovative cross-company agreement. These proposals are separate from the current, approved plans for Havant Thicket Reservoir and are subject to further consultation and planning approvals.

The six-week consultation, which launches on 5 July and ends on 16 August, comes as the weather heats up in Hampshire and demand on water increases, putting pressure on our networks and local rivers.

Alongside increasing investment in finding and fixing leaks, and supporting customers to save precious water themselves, through this unique project Southern Water proposes to:

  • Build a new water recycling plant south of Havant and use an innovative technology to turn treated wastewater into recycled water. The water would then be transferred via a new underground pipeline to the reservoir so there is more water available for use during a drought.
  • Build a new underground pipeline to transport water from the reservoir to Southern Water’s Otterbourne Water Supply Works, where it will be treated further to become drinking water.

People can have their say via an online portal or at several drop-in sessions being held along the potential route of the pipeline.



Venue details

6 July

2pm – 8pm

Leigh Park Community Centre

Dunsbury Way



9 July

10am – 4pm

Jubilee Hall

Little Shore Lane

Bishop's Waltham

SO32 1ED

15 July

2pm – 8pm

Wickham Community Centre

Mill Lane


PO17 5AL

16 July

10am – 4pm

Meridian Shopping Centre

Elm Lane



21 July

2pm – 8pm

Southwick D-Day Memorial Hall

Priory Road


PO17 6ED

22 July

2pm – 8pm

Colden Common Community Centre

St Vigor Way

Colden Common

SO21 1UU 


If you are not able to attend a drop-in session, we are holding a series of online webinars between 7pm and 8:30pm on the following dates:

  • Tuesday 26 July
  • Wednesday 3 August
  • Thursday 11 August

Email [email protected] to register your place.

Reference copies of the consultation materials will also be available at several local libraries and other venues along the potential pipeline route.



Bishops Waltham Library

Free Street, Bishop's Waltham, Southampton SO32 1EE

Chandler's Ford Library

Oakmount Road, Chandler's Ford, Eastleigh SO53 2LH

Cosham Library

Spur Road, Cosham, Portsmouth PO6 3EB

Eastleigh Library

1 Swan Centre, Eastleigh SO50 5SF

Fair Oak Community Library

Campbell Way, Fair Oak, Eastleigh SO50 7AX

Havant Borough Council

Public Service Plaza, Civic Centre Road, Havant PO9 2AX

Leigh Park Library

50 Park Parade, Leigh Park, Havant PO9 5AB

Paulsgrove Library

Paulsgrove Youth Community Centre, Marsden Road, Portsmouth PO6 4JB

Portchester Community Hub

2 New Parade, West Street, Portchester, Fareham PO16 9UY


Mark Wintringham, Southern Water’s Head of Project Delivery, said: “We really hope people will get involved in the consultation and help us shape our plans to improve their water supply and protect the environment.

“The Hampshire Water Transfer and Water Recycling Project will transform the way we source, treat and supply water across the county for years to come and will significantly protect Hampshire’s chalk streams and the wildlife that lives in and around them.

“Water is vital for all life, so it’s essential we take less from the environment while meeting everyone’s needs. Striking this balance is particularly important as our population continues to grow and climate change leads to more uncertain weather patterns and longer, hotter summers.”

Southern Water will pursue the plans under the Development Consent Order planning route, after the project was classified by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs as one of national significance.

Mark said: “The Development Consent Order consenting regime provides the best opportunity to deliver this significant and regionally important water resource project as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

For more information about the Havant Water Transfer and Water Recycling Project visit: [email protected] 

Southern Water will also soon be consulting on its draft Water Resources Management Plan. This long-term plan looks at how the company will secure future water resources across its region.

For more information on the draft Water Resources Management Plan and other consultations Southern Water is running over the summer, visit:

Notes to Editors

  • The twin pressures of more extreme weather events and a growing population are stretching our planet’s finite natural resources, including water.
  • In Hampshire, reductions in the amount of water Southern Water can take from the Test and Itchen rivers leave the company with a significant shortfall of water in a drought.
  • These chalk streams support a wide variety of species and deserve protection, but they also supply water to more than 700,000 people.
  • Southern Water is improving the way it abstracts, treats and supplies water across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and exploring new sources of supply.
  • Southern Water is also reducing leakage and supporting and incentivising people to reduce their water use to 100 litres a day.