The Secret Life Of Reservoirs

Hermione Cockburn takes an in-depth look at our reservoirs


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Hermione Cockburn visits the Yorkshire Dales to reveal the engineering challenges presented by two very different reservoirs - one built 140 years ago, the other in the 1970s.

As she finds out how reservoirs work and what needs to be done to maintain them, Hermione uncovers the history of dam building in Britain, and the role that water supply played in the expansion of the country's industry and cities.


She visits Rutland Water in East Anglia, built during the 1970s and now an SSSI and a protected area, home to at least 24,000 birds and a popular local recreation site. Future increases in demand for water, however, are threatening the area's ecological balance.

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Starting at Bewl Water in Kent, Hermione learns what needs to happen to water before it reaches us.

She also asks what needs to be done to keep our water systems running smoothly as future demand increases.