Carsington Water is a reservoir that is operated by Severn Trent Water in Derbyshire. It is the ninth largest reservoir that has a capacity of over 35,000 mega litres. You wouldn't think it by just that information that this is one of the major tourist attraction in the Peak District. This reservoir has more to it than just the normal water regulation things you hear about about.
The plan to build the reservoir started in the 1960s and the construction started in 1979. The original dam in place collapsed in 1984 and to be removed before the construction of the new dam could get the go ahead in 1989 which meant that there would be delays. The reservoir was finally finished though in 1992 when it was opened by Queen Elizabeth II.
During Winter months and when there is high rainfall uses water from the River Derwent with water being pumped by long tunnels that are 10.5 km long and an aqueduct to the reservoir and then returned when the summer months finally hit and at times when the river level is considered to be too low. This is a form of Water Abstraction with treatment being applied further downstream, no water from Carsington Water is actually extracted though.
Carsington Water cares about the role of water in which there is a visitor centre that has a permanent exhibition that shows the importance of water in our daily lives, it also details the history and purpose of the reservoir and the role Severn Trent has in terms of conservation. There are other facilities near the exhibition such as shops that will sell souvenirs, craft items, embroidery materials, ceramics, books and many other things that may be of interest to you. There is also an outdoor caf, kiosk and a 120 seater restaurant if you need something to eat, also you can bring along your own food as there are picnic areas on site as well.
There are classrooms as well so you can book classes that will educate you on things relating to water and the environment, if you don't want to go to a class but still want to learn then there are loads of information sheets and booklets on offer. There is a centre piece in the courtyard that is the Kugal Stone, this is a ball of granite that weighs over 1 tonne and is revolving on a thin film of water. The pressure ids so intense that the ball can be moved by the touch of your hand.
This reservoir is a major tourist attraction for another reason, it's the sure amount of leisure activities that you can do here. For those who want to take to the water there is plenty to do here you could try some canoeing, Kayaking and windsurfing. For those who don't exactly want to do the hard work but still want to be on the water they can jump in a powerboat or a try their hand at sailing. Even if you are inexperienced it isn't a problem as there are courses on hand for all these water activities that will enable you to have the most basic of knowledge of how to travel on the water no matter what the method. For those who want to stay more grounded they can try their hand at mountain biking where you can choose to do it by yourself or in a group. There are various routes that you can take and if you feel that you can't lead your group then you could always hire a guide. You can also try your hand at fishing and rock climbing proving there is loads to do here.
There are also events that happen throughout the year like a music festival called the the Festival of the Peak which focuses has top acts from the folk music scene. If you want somewhere to stay there are quite a few nearby villages that are some of the most luxurious Peak District holiday homes in the country. The Carsington water isn't just a reservoir it is a place where you can go to be see how the water is regulated from the reservoir to the river there are loads of things to do here and you can get educated as well which is why you see why tourists come it here.