A winter water storage plan to reduce flood risk in the Tyne Valley has been hailed a success by Northumberland MP Guy Opperman.

Originally unveiled in 2016 by Northumbrian Water, the Environment Agency, Northumberland County Council and Mr Opperman, the operating plan saw Kielder Reservoir′s normal water levels reduced to provide additional storage in the winter.


Speaking on a visit to Northern Europe′s largest man made reservoir, Mr Opperman said: "We′ve seen over the last two winters that, by ensuring levels are managed in this way, the increased capacity can reduce the downstream impact of weather events such as Storm Desmond.


"This is a great example of working together and utilising existing infrastructure in a way that gives additional peace of mind to people in the Tyne Valley."


David Hall, Head of Leisure and Transformation at Northumbrian Water, who took part in the visit, said: "Kielder Water isn′t just a crown jewel of Northumberland tourism, it ensures resilience in the water supply across the North East. We′re proud of the flexibility it offers us, so that we can adjust levels and make a real difference to people′s lives in this way.


"We know that the fear of flooding is something that many people live with during storm conditions. While this is not the full answer, if this helps ease minds and take away some of that concern, that is a fantastic thing for us to be able to do."


Mr Opperman visited the control tower at Kielder, walking through the underwater tunnel via which it is accessed, and also met Northumbrian Water employees, including members of the company′s Young People′s Network to talk about career opportunities delivered by the business.