Reservoirs can hold large volumes of water above ground level, contained by dams.

Although the safety record for reservoirs is excellent, it is still possible that a dam could fail. This would result in a large volume of water being released very quickly.

The Environment Agency is the enforcement authority for the Reservoirs Act 1975 in England and Wales. All large reservoirs must be inspected and supervised by reservoir panel engineers. The Environment Agency ensure that reservoirs are regularly inspected and essential safety work is carried out.

Local authorities are responsible for coordinating emergency plans for reservoir flooding and ensuring communities are well prepared. Local authorities will work with other members of the Local Resilience Forum to develop these plans.