TitleSheffield City Council, Town Clerk's papers relating to the Derwent Valley Water Board
AdminHistoryThe Derwent Valley Water Board was constituted by Act of Parliament in 1899 to supply the cities of Derby, Leicester, Nottingham and Sheffield and the county of Derbyshire with water impounded by a series of reservoirs along the upper reaches of the River Derwent in the Peak District of Derbyshire.

The Board's works included the Howden, Derwent and Ladybower reservoirs.

The board was abolished in 1974 under the terms of the Water Act 1973 and responsibility of the works was transferred to the Severn Trent Water Authority.

The papers in this collection relate to the foundation of the Board in 1899, and to subsequent disputes and arbitrations. Before 1899, the Corporations of the Boroughs of Derby and Leicester and the Cities of Nottingham had constructed their separate water undertakings in the Derwent Valley. In 1898, Derby, Leicester and Sheffield separately introduced further Bills to Parliament for their works. Nottingham objected to all three, and the three submitting Corporations objected to each other's Bill. After arbitration, the four authorities agreed, with additionally the County Council of Derbyshire, to establish a corporate Board to be called the Derwent Valley Water Board. The Board was established by Act of Parliament in 1899. The Council of the Board was to comprise representatives from each of the constituent authorities:
Derby 3 Leicester 4 Sheffield 3 Nottingham -2 Derbyshire 1

The quorum could be constituted by 7 representatives, or 5 if one representative was present from each constituent authority. The Chairman and Vice-Chairman were elected by the Board, but the two officers could not be from the same authority in one year. An auditorial board of 5 auditors, one from each authority, was also appointed. Finally, a Standing Arbitrator was to be nominated by the President of the Institute of Civil Engineers, to forestall disputes.

In 1899, the Board was authorised to raise £5.5m for capital investment, by mortgage, the issue of stock, and a Sinking Fund. In 1901, the Board was further empowered to raise funds for capital expenditure by issuing bills. Revenue (non-capital) expenditure was to be raised by precept on the rates of the consitituent authorities, by apportionment. The application of rate of apportionment caused continual dispute. The four towns were to receive water in the proportions: Derby 25%, Leicester 35872%, Sheffield 25% and Nottingham 14.58%; and they were to contribute to costs in the same proportions.

In 1899, the Board was authorised to take over or construct the Ronksley, Howden, Derwent, Ashopton, Hagglee, Lady Bower Intake, Ambergate Service and Bamford Reservoirs, as well as conduits, aqueducts and filtration works.

The papers of Alderman Styring, Liberal Councillor for Sheffield, also include papers relating to the Derwent Valley Water Board, some not represented here (MD 3450-3456). The Reports, 1927 - 1936, Accounts, 1928 - 1936, and Year Books, 1944 - 1946 of the Board, are available in the Sheffield Local Studies Library (352.6S).

The papers listed here relate, after 1899, mainly to disputes over the apportionment of costs. From 1899 to 1911, all expenditure was capitalised, so there was no dispute. Thereafter, there was a series of disputes which went before the Standing Arbitrator, and often further, on Appeal by Sheffield against the Awards:
1912 Russell Standing Arbitration -apportionment of the cost of the Derwent Aqueduct and First Instalment Works.
1930 Godley Standing Arbitration -apportionment of the cost of the Second Instalment Works.
1937 - 1940 Kilbracken Standing Arbitration.
The Board adopted a scheme of four instalments of works to meet projected demands for water:
First Instalment - Howden and Derwent Reservoirs.
Second Instalment - Ashop diversions and catchwater.
Third Instalment - the first part of Ladybower Reservoir.
Fourth Instalment - the second part of Ladybower Reservoir.
Date1895 - 1944
Extent36 items
RelatedMaterialFor minutes of Derwent Valley Water Board, 1899 - 1942 see X517. Further copies of minutes, 1899 - 1974, along with other papers of the Board are available at Derbyshire Record Office (refs. D3040 L/W1, D6332 and D6765) and at the University of Nottingham Special Collections (ref. DVW)
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