While many of us enjoy the warm weather and sunshine, a lack of rainfall can be a real challenge for the canals.

Drought Drought - Welford Reservoir

2018 was a particularly challenging year – one of the hottest and driest on record. In this video, our national hydrology manager, Adam Comerford, explains what we did to preserve as much water as possible in the waterways system.

With prolonged dry weather, a navigational drought is more likely. The water management team work hard to prolong the time the canal can be used for boating. This may mean we have to limit the hours which the boats can travel through locks during the day.

When we are in a drought we monitor reservoir levels and the groundwater allocations we have. On a weekly basis we undertake modelling to help us decide when we may have to close the canal to navigation, or restrict boat movements to keep the canal open for longer.

In addition to the modelling, we work closely with our environment colleagues to try to ensure that wildlife is not harmed due to low water levels and flows within the reservoirs and canals.                               

When there is too little water we sometimes have to put restrictions in place. Please take a look at our stoppage notices to check your route before you set off.

Last date edited: 31 July 2020