The Gouthwaite Board of Management (GBM) was set up under the Bradford Corporation Water Act 1890. 

At this time, Bradford City Corporation proposed to build three reservoirs in Upper Nidderdale. Two of these, Scar House and Angram, were to be for water supply to Bradford, and the third, Gouthwaite, would be a “compensation reservoir”.  Its purpose was to store water, regulate the flow of the River Nidd downstream and compensate the millowners and riparian proprietors on the River Nidd, whose water supply would otherwise have been affected by the two new reservoirs at the top of Nidderdale.

To this day, Gouthwaite Board of Management sets the “Rules” for the flow of water from the reservoir, advised by Yorkshire Water and the Environment Agency. 

To find out more about the history of the Gouthwaite Management Board click here.  Please click on the tabs at the top of this page to find out who the current members of the GBM are, what Rules dictate the flow of water from the reservoir and to read minutes from recent meetings of the Board.

More about Gouthwaite Reservoir

Gouthwaite Reservoir lies in Upper Nidderdale and is the lowest of three reservoirs. The two above, Scar House and Angram were built to supply potable water. Gouthwaite to discharge water stored in the reservoir to mill-owners and riparian proprietors as compensation for the water abstracted above. Gouthwaite was the first to be built and was completed in 1900. It is fed by water flowing out of Scar House, the River Nidd and a number of becks flowing directly in.  It covers an area of 148 hectares and is owned and managed by Yorkshire Water. The fishing and shooting rights are in private ownership. It is designated as a site of special scientific interest (SSSI). At its upper end there are extensive areas of sedimentation making it important for bird populations.
The reservoir infrastructure consists of the dam which incorporates two valve towers and 14 arches through which water can flow when the reservoir is full. Below the dam there is a spillway which has been recently improved to protect the dam wall during excessively high flows. The spillway and the valves discharge into a stilling basin at the base of the dam and just downstream there is a flow gauge to measure the volume of discharge.
Data on the reservoir level and discharge volumes are collected by Yorkshire Water and are used by the Gouthwaite Board of Management to set the rules of discharge. In doing so the Board has to balance the needs of those who have a right to take and use the water downstream, the dilution of discharges from waste water treatment works, the environmental condition of the river, and the status of the reservoir as a SSSI from which the water is taken.