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


The Hebden Reservoir Group consist of six reservoirs owned by Yorkshire Water (YWS) which are fed by the upstream catchment of Hebden 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 is being undertaken to begin to examine the potential benefits of utilising water supply reservoir storage for flood attenuation. A field trial in partnership with Yorkshire Water has taken place across winters since 2017/18 (except 18/19 due to water resource constraints) which observed reduction in flows downstream that could lead to flood risk benefits.

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

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