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Abberton Reservoir is a pumped storage freshwater reservoir in England near the Essex coast, with an area of 700 hectares (1,700 acres). Most of its water is pumped in from the River Stour. Constructed between 1935 and 1939, it is currently owned by Essex and Suffolk Water, and lies 6 km (4 mi) south-west of Colchester. In World War II, the reservoir was mined to deter invading seaplanes, and it was used by the RAF's No. 617 Squadron ("The Dam Busters") to practise for the bombing of the German dams in the Ruhr. A project to increase the reservoir's capacity to 41,000 megalitres (9.0×109 imperial gallons) was completed in 2013, along with a new link to transfer water from Norfolk's River Ouse to the Stour. The reservoir is important for its breeding cormorants, wintering and moulting waterfowl, and migrating birds. It is an internationally important wetland, designated as a Ramsar site, SSSI and SPA and listed in A Nature Conservation Review. A small part of the site is managed by the Essex Wildlife Trust. (Full article...)