A joint venture (JV) between Arup and Binnies has won the contract to deliver the South East Strategic Reservoir Option (SESRO) for Thames Water.

Thames Water, the UK’s largest water and wastewater services provider, is committed to ensuring sustainable water resource management for future generations. The company’s programme is essential for overcoming the challenges in providing clean water to a rising population and during a changing climate. As part of the programme, Thames Water has undertaken technical assessments and modelling, which have identified the need for a new reservoir to overcome a predicted water resources shortfall.

Measuring 150 million cubic metres (Mm³), the new reservoir will be filled from the River Thames during the winter, when there is plenty of water available, and deliver supply to customers across the south east and London, including those served by Affinity Water and Southern Water. When the river levels drop, or demand for water increases, water will be released from the reservoir back into the river for re-abstraction downstream. As well as providing a resilient water supply to homes and businesses across the region, SESRO will generate new employment opportunities, provide opportunities for leisure and recreation, and create new habitats to increase biodiversity.

The Arup Binnies JV has been selected to be the delivery partner for SESRO and will work alongside Thames Water in securing a Development Consent Order for the project, providing all design, consenting and environmental services for the integrated scheme.

This appointment reinforces our industry-leading position in delivering critical sustainable water solutions in the UK. In collaboration with our JV partner Binnies, we’ll bring fresh eyes, international experience and cross-sector expertise to the project. Our track record includes all forms of major infrastructure throughout every lifecycle stage, including many of the country’s strategic reservoirs and significant projects such as the Thames Tideway Tunnel and A66 Northern Trans-Pennine upgrade.

Paula Walsh

UK, India, Middle East and Africa Chair, Arup

We are excited about addressing water scarcity concerns in the south east by designing Thames Water’s first new reservoir for over 30 years, providing a resilient water supply for decades to come. Our collaborative team culture delivers high quality outcomes by harnessing our extensive expertise in engineering, environmental stewardship, and stakeholder engagement. We are committed to developing a buildable scheme that will leave a lasting legacy for future generations. In collaboration with our JV partner Arup, we will be focussed in achieving results that ensure the scheme creates wider benefit for the local community, particularly around sustainability and biodiversity, whilst remaining affordable. Our teams are passionate about what they do, and we look forward to coming together to deliver a sustainable solution, building social value to local communities with a nature-led, low carbon, multi-capital approach

Scott Aitken

Managing Director, Binnies