Wednesday, 8 June 2011

A new role for the canals.

I mentioned in a previous posting that it is reputed to be the second-driest spring in 100 years.  In some areas the soil has not been this dry for over 50 years. Because we have a traditionally wet climate we also have a traditionally poor record of water management techniques. Published leakage figures still give cause for concern. Since 1995 the volume of water lost to leakage has only been reduced by one third. We have seen in the past when things became dire, water bowser being used to transport water from one location to another.

The possibility of a national water grid similar to gas and electricity grids has been raised in the past and then shelved on costs. Once again Britain is looking to the water industry to create a national water grid where water from areas in surplus can be transported between water companies. Some water companies have pre-empted the grid by building local links between themselves.

The effect on the environment of construction and all of the engineering work that would be associated with the construction of a large bore, subsurface  pipeline. The grid could be beset by many environmental problems. The chemical composition of water varies in different parts of the country. Piped directly from one watershed to another watershed could introduce problems for the local habitat and its ecology.

I wonder what role the canals could play if any in supporting part of the water grid infrastructure. Canals do form a very large man made water reservoir. The natural exposure to living organisms could help to modify the chemical composition to adapt water quality to the destination watershed. Whilst essentially the canals are still waters or with minimal flow. There are however long sections of canals that are lock free that could be included in to the national grid infrastructure. lock structures could be bypassed by culverts to divide some of the flow.

OK, I know that I'm flying a kite. However, any way that the new charity can raise additional revenue and implement engineering works to reopen derelict canals. Or to deepen existing canals to form part of the grid, is good news for us. 


1 comment:

  1. For years I have been trying to get BW to dredge canals. A inch puddle dries up very quickly in sun but a 1 foot deep one takes much longer. Hence much less water loss if the canals were their correct depth


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