Abstraction at Axford

Since the early 1990s Thames Water have abstracted water from the borehole at Axford, Wiltshire, to supply homes and businesses in Swindon and the Kennet valley.  ARK persistently objected to the export of water over the catchment boundary.  Water exported to Swindon does not return to the Kennet as treated effluent, it is water lost to the river for ever.  After more than 20 years of campaigning Thames Water have built a pipeline which dramatically reduces the quantity of water abstracted from Axford during times of low flow. Thames Water will also stop abstracting water from Ogbourne, except in emergencies.

The new pipeline was welcomed at a celebratory event during the summer of 2017.

ARK wholeheartedly welcome this massive step to protect the river, and continue to press for further action to reduce water abstraction which has a detrimental impact on the chalk stream environment. 

  • The Passing of a River (an article published in 1947 charting the demise of the river Kennet after abstraction began)