The Environment Agency is working with Yorkshire Water to investigate using reservoirs to store water and help reduce flood risk.


The Hebden Reservoir Group consist of six reservoirs owned by Yorkshire Water. At Hebden Bridge the Hebden Water catchment accounts for 40% of the upstream catchment whilst the River Calder accounts for 60%. Around 41% of flow within Hebden Water passes through the reservoir group. Modelling has suggested that the Standard Of Protection (SOP) could be increased at Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd if reservoir storage is utilised for flood risk management.

Work has started on examining the potential benefits of using reservoir storage for flood attenuation. A trial, in partnership with Yorkshire Water has taken place since each Winter since 2017/18 (except 18/19 due to water resource constraints). The trials observed a drop in flows downstream that could lead to decreased flood risk.

Further work has been commissioned to design and assess the cost of work to deliver a longer term solution. This will include an assessment of how the cost compares with benefits. As well as further investigations of the legal and operational constraints of implementing these proposals. Environmental assessments, the impact of water resources, compensation and licensing issues need to be agreed for the project to progress.

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