Kielder Water

Kielder Water

Infobox lake
lake_name = Kielder Reservoir
image_lake = KielderDam.jpg
caption_lake = Kielder Dam in 2007
image_bathymetry =
caption_bathymetry =
location = Northumberland
coords = coord|55|11|N|2|30|W|region:GB_type:waterbody|display=inline,title
type = reservoir
inflow =
outflow =
catchment =
basin_countries = United Kingdom
length =
width =
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Kielder Water is a large man-made reservoir in Northumberland in North East England. It is the largest artificial lake in the United Kingdom by capacity and it is surrounded by Kielder Forest, the largest man-made woodland in Europe. It was planned in the late 1960s to satisfy an expected rise in demand for water to support a booming UK industrial economy. It was constructed between 1975 and 1981 by an AMEC / Balfour Beatty [ [ Structure information] ] joint venture and was opened by the Queen in 1982. It took two years for the valley to fill with water completely once construction was completed.

The decline of traditional heavy industry, together with more water-efficient industrial processes and better control of water supply leakage, served to undermine the original justification for the reservoir and many came to criticise the government-funded project as a white elephant. In recent years, however, Kielder Water has come into its own, with underground springs ensuring that it always remains at high levels, regardless of the prevailing climate condition. This means that while the south of England is often forced to implement drought strategies and hosepipe bans, North East England enjoys plentiful water supplies.

The main conurbations served by the reservoir are Tyneside, Wearside and Teesside. The reservoir is linked to the exit point of the Derwent Reservoir in County Durham, with a pipeline fed from the North Tyne river below the Kielder dam. The Derwent Reservoir remains the primary source of water for Tyne and Wear, so water from Kielder can be used to supplement the flow of the River Derwent when the reservoir above is at low levels, and also to provide water into the Derwent Reservoir's distribution system. The Kielder pipeline cannot be used to supplement the water supply to the Derwent Reservoir itself.

With water shortages in the south of the UK apparently worsening by the year, some opinions, especially the privatised water companies, favour the building of further reservoirs of this size. Opposing arguments favour better water-resource management, improved conservation measures, control of leakage and changes in social attitudes to the use of water to manage the apparent shortfall.

Kielder Water is owned by Northumbrian Water, and holds 200 billion litres, making it the largest reservoir in the United Kingdom by capacity (Rutland Water is the largest by surface area). Kielder Water has a 27½ mile shoreline.

It is also one of the region's major tourist venues, attracting over a quarter of a million visitors a year who come to enjoy the wide range of leisure opportunities on offer.

There are two main visitor centres at Kielder Water - Leaplish waterside park and Tower Knowe visitor centre - and other facilities at Kielder Village, Falstone and Stannersburn villages.


External links

* [ Kielder Water & Forest Park Guide from]
* [ Kielder Water Sailing Club]

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