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The Kielder Reservoir was built in the late 1970s and early 1980s to help to maintain an adequate water supply to the North East The dam wall was constructed just above the village of Falstone in the North Tyne valley and the head of the dam lies below the village of Kielder itself hence its name The Kielder project is one of the largest artificially created lakes in Europe which is situated in one of the largest artificially created forests in Europe - the 101000 hectare Kielder forest which is 250000 acre It has a storage capacity of 188000 million litres which is equivalent to 41350 million gallons One and a half million trees were felled to make way for Kielder Water which has a surface area of 1084 hectares or 2684 acres making it larger than Lake Ullswater and three-quarters the area of Lake Windermere The Northumbrian Water Authority is responsible for an area of about 930000 hectares 3600 square miles comprising the conurbation of Tyne and Wear the Counties of Durham and Cleveland most of the Country of Northumberland and parts of North Yorkshire and Cumbria In the early 1970s the demand for water industries especially on Teesside and for domestic purposes was expected to exceed supply by 1981 A number of reasons were put forward for choosing Kielder The limited agricultural value of the area and the small numbers of inhabitants living there The natural narrowing of the valley The gradient upstream is relatively flat allowing a maximum volume of water to collect there A band of volcanic rock Whinsill would help the foundations The large water catchment area Extensive local deposits of boulder clay sand and gravel needed in the dam construction It is an area of heavy and reliable rainfall of 1200 mm a year Being the largest man made lake in Britain and surrounded by the largest man made forest in Britain
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