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GHD to work on first major new UK reservoir in more than 30 years

  • GHD to work on first major new UK reservoir in more than 30 years

About the entity

GHD is one of the world's leading professional services companies operating in the global markets of water, energy and resources, environment, property and buildings, and transportation.


GHD, a leading global professional services company, has been appointed by Future Water JV (Mackley & Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK) as one of the lead designers for Portsmouth Water’s Havant Thicket Reservoir Project in Havant, Hampshire.  

The landmark project marks the construction of the first major new reservoir in the country since the 1980s. Havant Thicket Reservoir is first and foremost an environmentally-led project that will protect two world-renowned chalk rivers in Hampshire, by providing a new, sustainable source of water. 

Working directly for Future Water MJJV, GHD will be responsible for overseeing the design of major civil and structural elements, including the reservoir, valve tower and culvert, spillway, viewing platforms and civil site infrastructure. GHD will be working alongside collaborative design partner Coffey UK, who are primarily responsible for overseeing the geotechnical investigations and the main embankment design. 

The objectives of the Havant Thicket Reservoir perfectly align with GHD's longstanding dedication to sustainability, with a vision to make water and energy sustainable for generations to come. A leading expert in reservoir and dam engineering, GHD brings a wealth of experience to the project. The company has worked extensively on large-scale dam and reservoir projects in Australia and in the UK has completed design for critical water supply projects such as Severn Trent Water's Birmingham Resilience Programme and United Utilities' Oswestry Water Treatment Works. 

Portsmouth Water has secured the £325 million investment required to construct Havant Thicket Reservoir. The scheme will ultimately be paid for by Southern Water, via their drinking water customer bills. Planning and design are already taking place and preliminary works related to the trial embankment have commenced. Upon completion, the reservoir will hold approximately 8.7 billion litres of water and will be capable of supplying 21 million litres each day. The project will also see Portsmouth Water planting and improving more than 200 hectares of local woodland and wood pasture. Leisure facilities including a visitor centre and a network of footpaths, cycling routes and bridleways around the site will also be built, maximising the positive impacts to local communities. 

John Hensman, UK Market Leader – Water at GHD said: "The Havant Thicket Reservoir is a vital piece of infrastructure for the region, and we are excited to have been chosen to lead the design process for reservoir itself. South East England is under serious water stress and our experience in designing large-scale infrastructure projects will help deliver the reservoir successfully. 

“Sustainability sits at the heart of GHD’s approach and we are honoured to have the opportunity to make a long-lasting impact to the local area through this project. We look forward to working on the reservoir and contributing to its success.” 

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