We've developed the strategy to ensure that the nation's waterway network continues to have the water it needs to meet the demands of boaters, support businesses and sustain important wildlife.
The ‘Putting the water into waterways 2015-2020' strategy details how we will plan successfully for the future, giving a reliable supply of water to meet the growing demands on the waterway network.
Part of this planning will include an assessment of how we will deal with a range of future challenges up to 2050. These future challenges include climate change, the increasing popularity of boating, changing environmental legislation and the impact of exciting canal restoration projects on the demand for water.
A complex system
Adam Comerford, national hydrology manager for the Trust explains: “The canal network is supplied by a complex system of reservoirs, aquifers, rivers, feeder streams and back pumping. It's important that we don't rest on our laurels and take this supply for granted. Our climate is changing, there are more boats on our waterways than ever before and exciting plans are in place for miles of canal to be brought back into use.
“This strategy is all about taking time now to properly understand all these potential future pressures and planning effectively to ensure that we stay ahead. It will give boaters and businesses information and confidence and ensure that our waterways remain special places for people and wildlife to escape to.”
The strategy also commits to providing clearer definitions of key water management concepts and explains our position on a number of issues that are commonly raised by boaters, including lock leakage, side ponds and dredging.
The strategy has been published following an eight week consultation period which received 169 responses from a range of individuals and organisations including canal societies, local authorities, waterway associations, water companies as well as the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM).
Progress against the actions detailed in the strategy will be published in an annual report which will be available on this website.