It has been over a year in the planning and organisation, but the Kielder Reservoir Flood Prevention Project is a massive success. Full credit to the team at Northumbria Water who have embraced the idea, when other water companies have not. Likewise the environment agency. The idea is simple. Run the reservoir at a lower level in the winter months so that when the biblical style rains come the reservoir can absorb the extra water and prevent it going down the Tyne. This takes around 10% of all Water going past the likes of CorBridge, Ovingham, and Hexham out of the game. Of all the possible flood prevention ideas this is by far the biggest and dwarfs all the local plans already in place. It is of particular help to the communities of the north Tyne at Bellingham, Wark, and all places in between until the river meets the south Tyne at warden.
We still need to address south Tyne in more detail, and plans are afoot. But the assurance we gave the residents at the many flood meetings I held in 2016 has definitely been fulfilled and the reservoir is presently operating at just over 80% as can be seen from the attached pictures. I will be seeking to persuade Defra to copy our model.