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The Environment Agency is responsible for 2,000 reservoirs in England and Wales and enforces the Reservoirs Act 1975.
Ladybower reservoir in the snow

The key roles of the Environment Agency regarding reservoirs are:

  • surveillance - maintaining a register of reservoirs for England and Wales
  • enforcement - achieving compliance
  • provisionally from spring 2009, ensuring flood plans are produced for specified reservoirs

Managing large, raised reservoirs to reduce flood risk is very important. Ultimately this responsibility for safe management remains with the reservoir owners but the Environment Agency have to enforce that responsibility.

The Environment Agency also maintains a register of all large, raised reservoirs and the information it contains is available to the public.


If you have a general enquiry on reservoir safety you can call the Environment Agency email: or tel: 08708 506 506. In an emergency you can call their hotline tel: 0800 80 70 60.