Thursday, 14 June 2012

Water Updates; Drought and Flood

Following exceptionally heavy rainfall during April and above average rainfall in May and June, groundwater that feeds the canal east of the summit has recovered substantially from the very low levels recorded earlier in the year. Note that although this recovery is significant and very welcome, groundwater is still around the same level that it was in June of last year (and as you may recall, we ran out of water toward the end of the year). I therefore ask that everyone continues to use water sparingly; share locks and be sure to leave lock paddles fully closed unless specific site signage asks otherwise. I can report that efforts made so far have made a difference; I have recorded reduced lock use and pumping costs have been decreased.

Both the River Avon and River Kennet are currently (June 14th) high due to recent storm events. However, it is anticipated that when they return to base flow levels they will both be sufficient to sustain navigation.

At this moment in time I predict no management of canal opening times due to water availability being required for at least the next eight weeks. An update to this forecast will be provided in July.

Thank you for your help and support.

Mark Stephens, Waterway Manager

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