Cross-party politicians appear to be putting rivalry aside to join forces to "preserve the beauty and integrity" of Aldenham Reservoir.

The members of the Hertsmere Conservative, Labour, and Liberal Democrat parties say they are working together to achieving a "lasting and just solution".

One of the solutions put forward in a statement to residents this month is the possibility of enacting a compulsory purchase order (CPO) on the privately owned reservoir.

A CPO is a legal process that allows certain bodies to obtain land or property without the consent of the owner.

Watford Observer: What Aldenham Reservoir has been reduced to over the last two yearsWhat Aldenham Reservoir has been reduced to over the last two years

In their statement, councillors Caroline Clapper, Jerry Evans, and Dan Ozarow say the future of the reservoir has never looked so "bleak" in its 225 year history.

The owners - the Gosrani brothers - have been draining the reservoir consistently since January 2020 after claiming the pressure on the reservoir's dam wall needed reducing following an inspection by its dam supervisor.

Repairs are said to cost in the region of £5 million but attempts by the Gosrani's to raise money, such as to build houses on green belt land near the reservoir or holiday pods around it, have been rejected by Hertsmere Borough Council.

Watford Observer: This dam wall is said to be a cause of concern for the reservoir's private owners.This dam wall is said to be a cause of concern for the reservoir's private owners.

According to a website set up by the owners, when the reservoir was purchased in late 2015 for £50,000 - according to land registry documents - it was the "dream" for it to be a "national treasure" - but the owners say without "necessary funding", it cannot keep the reservoir at an "acceptable standard for the public".

They recently changed the name of their company from Liberty Lake Leisure Ltd to 'Jewel of Hertsmere Ltd'.

The consequences of draining the reservoir include Aldenham Sailing Club packing up after 80 years, while the councillors say visually, it has become a "shadow of its former glory".

Watford Observer: Aldenham Sailing terminated its lease because the water levels became too lowAldenham Sailing terminated its lease because the water levels became too low

There are concerns about the welfare of fish and other aquatic animals, while a father out with his young son in the summer said it was like "quicksand" around the reservoir after he began sinking.

Events since the beginning of 2020 have prompted at least two protests while campaign group 'Save Aldenham Reservoir' have stepped up efforts.

Watford Observer: A socially distanced protest at Aldenham Reservoir in 2020A socially distanced protest at Aldenham Reservoir in 2020

The joint statement by councillors claims the owners, who have previously stated the reservoir is not for sale, want to lower the reservoir's spillway by two metres. The councillors say they "completely reject" this idea.

They added: "We are exploring the possibility of enacting a compulsory purchase order to bring our reservoir temporarily or permanently back into public hands.

"We aim to work with residents and community groups to both secure its future and public access, preserve its beauty and integrity, whilst avoiding harmful developments on the land.

"The borough council’s recent approval of asset of community value for the reservoir is a statement of our intent.

"We remain firm in our resolve to protect our borough’s jewel and will do all we can to ensure that it glistens once more."

Watford Observer: Aldeham Reservoir in 2020 after the water level was reducedAldeham Reservoir in 2020 after the water level was reduced

The water levels at the reservoir appear to have increased in recent weeks but it is unclear whether this is because of heavy rainfall or the sluice has been shut.

Co-owner Mahesh Gosrani was approached for comment for a response to the joint statement.