Trust water strategy update

 The Canal & River Trust has produced its annual update regarding progress against its strategic objectives Photo: Canal & River Trust The Canal & River Trust has produced its annual update regarding progress against its strategic objectives Photo: Canal & River Trust
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The Canal & River Trust has released its latest annual update detailing progress over the past year against its strategic action plan.

In October 2015 the Trust published its water resources strategy, ‘Putting the Water into Waterways’, setting out its aspirations up to 2020 as well as looking ahead to 2050 to understand longer-term pressures and challenges regarding water supply and use.

Drought conditions have persisted in 2019 with restrictions being re-imposed on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and parts of the Oxford & Grand Union Canal. Developing drought conditions have been monitored to minimise disruption to the network and the methodology for assessing the risk of navigational drought has been assessed.

New marinas and restorations

All new marina and business boating proposals such as hire boats are being assessed to ensure additional water demands can be met without reducing the level of service below one in 20 years.

In addition, the Trust is continuing to provide technical support to restorations of the Grantham Canal, the Cromford and Montgomery Canals and the Hatherton Canal to ensure there is no net impact on the level of service on the network.

Water company planning

Work continues to ensure the Trust’s interests are safeguarded during the implementation of water transfer schemes for public water supply. The Trust is also actively involved in the Regional Water Resources Planning Groups as part of the Water Resources National Framework set up by Defra.

Water resource schemes and dredging

The Trust is supporting the progress of water resource schemes on the Leeds & Liverpool and Rochdale Canals and has completed a feasibility study assessing a water resource scheme on the Grand Union Canal. Work has also begun on two new feasibility studies assessing temporary schemes on the Peak Forest and Macclesfield Canals.

The  importance of dredging summit pounds and other storage pounds are highlighted and a rolling programme of spot dredging at pump intakes has been recommended.

Future plans

The Trust continues to assess pressures on water resources such as climate change, changes in funding, environmental legislation and increased network use. Future focuses are the modelling of hydrological units, identifying schemes to address deficits in water resources and ensuring compliance of new abstraction licences.

Work will begin on refreshing the strategy itself in time for its fifth anniversary in 2020.

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