In a bid to secure critical water supplies for the South East of England, Portsmouth Water and Southern Water plan to deliver the first new reservoir in decades.
The Havant Thicket Reservoir will be built on a 160-hectare grassland site owned by Portsmouth Water in Havant, Hampshire.
It will hold approximately 8,700 million litres of water and will be able to supply up to 21 million litres of water each day.
As well as securing drinking water, the suppliers have said that the reservoir will also help to protect environmentally sensitive chalk streams and create a new environmental facility for local communities and wildlife.
The water suppliers have issued contract notices for the two main packages of the Havant Thicket Reservoir, as well as a framework for future works, with a total value of around £140m.
Planning applications for the reservoir were submitted to the local planning authorities in late 2020, with decisions on permission expected in Spring 2021.
Portsmouth Water is currently seeking expressions of interest from potential suppliers, with the reservoir scheduled to be operational by 2029.
Bob Taylor, chief executive officer at Portsmouth Water, said: ‘Havant Thicket Reservoir is a critical water resources scheme and a unique opportunity for innovative contractors to play a part in safeguarding our region’s water resources and benefitting the natural environment for decades to come.