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27 November 2013

Mott MacDonald to support Environment Agency with reservoir risk designations

Mott MacDonald has been appointed to support the Environment Agency’s national reservoir safety team in assigning provisional risk designations for all 1950 large raised reservoirs in England. The project falls under Lot 1 of the Environment Agency’s new Water and Environment Management Framework. The consultancy was named on Lots 1, 3 and 4 of the framework earlier this year.

The Reservoirs Act 1975 requires the Environment Agency to determine whether large raised reservoirs are high-risk. A reservoir is classed as high-risk when an uncontrolled release of water could endanger human life.

Risk designations will draw on a range of data sources, including reservoir flood risk maps which Mott MacDonald helped to develop in 2009. Other data sources will include dam height, escapable volume and the number of properties and population at risk, as well as the infrastructure within the downstream flood extent, maps and aerial photography.

Tim Hill, Mott MacDonald’s project director, said: “This work represents a key part of the transition to a new risk-based approach to managing reservoir safety, prompted by recent changes in relevant legislation.”

Mott MacDonald’s commission is due to be completed in spring 2015.

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