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EXCLUSIVE: Site for new Jersey reservoir named

Jersey Water would like transform Gigoulande Quarry in St Peter's Valley into the island's newest reservoir. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Jersey Water would like to transform Gigoulande Quarry in St Peter's Valley into the island's newest reservoir, but the idea is still to be given official permission.

Helier Smith, CEO of Jersey Water, says the new reservoir is required to cope with growing water demand and predicted future shortages.

Jersey Waters say the island's demand has increased by 10% since 2010, meaning a shortfall in a drought year, of eight million litres of water a day.

As a result they have submitted a paper to the Island Plan requesting the site be considered.

Gigoulande Quarry is currently run by Granite Products as a quarry for inert waste material.

Using this quarry as a reservoir would provide between 25- 30% additional water storage capacity, which would significantly improve the water storage supply in the island.

Alternatives to capture the water required over future years have included extension or increasing the height of Val de La Mar reservoir, but the negative impact on that would be cost, environmental concerns as it is in a national park, and upstream from a SSI site (Site of Special Interest) and in addition, putting a larger amount of water in one reservoir could lead to issues with contamination in one site.

– Helier Smith, CEO Jersey Water

He says it is early days and has submitted the initial paper to get discussions going. He confirmed that the cost of converting the quarry to a reservoir, has not been discussed.

In the meantime the Jersey Water's Desalination Plant, which has been running since 23 September has built the raw water storage up to 64% - which is approaching the normal average. As a result is likely to be stopped this week as it has generated sufficient water to bring reservoirs back to where they should be for this time of year.

Guernsey has more capacity in its raw storage facilities than Jersey and also uses a disused quarry, but as it has a smaller population it does not need a desalination plant.

Jersey Water says the new reservoir is needed because of climate change and an increase in population and demand for water.

  • WATCH: Sophia Bird speaks to Helier Smith...