Friday, 9 March 2012

Mark Stephens, Waterway Manager, says of the Sunday Times Article;

‘Although generally a good article that made clear the current and forecast water shortages, specifically in the River Kennet, the statement implying that the Kennet and Avon canal will definitely be closed for the summer was disappointing and misleading. Every effort is being made to maintain navigable levels in the canal, including extensive leak-reduction works that are currently on-going. The west end of the canal (from Bristol to the summit pound) should prove to be more resilient to a water shortage; further pumps have been replaced this winter and works have been undertaken to allow replacement hire pumps to be deployed, off the shelf, in less than 24 hours. Clearly the canal is and always will depend on a usable base-flow in the River Avon but we are well positioned to take advantage of available water. The Kennet end of the canal will prove harder to maintain and is dependent on a groundwater supply that is at a very low level. However, with everyone around the canal appreciating the importance of conserving water, we fully intend to sustain the canal environment for the enjoyment of our visitors and to safeguard the important habitats that it supports’.

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