Water is a valuable resource and it's important that we make the most of what we have. By monitoring the levels in our reservoirs we can plan for the future and minimise disruption to the canals in times of drought.
We monitor the water levels in every one of our reservoirs on a weekly basis. Each reservoir has gauge boards, which are read by waterway operatives and then entered into our central database. The water level is converted into a reservoir holding, which can tell us how full the reservoir is (in percentage terms).
Adam Comerford, our national hydrology manager explains: "By monitoring on the same day every week, throughout the year, we can calculate the change from one week to the next, and this helps us to understand how much water has gone into or out of a reservoir.
We use the reservoir holding information to manage our water resources, deciding which reservoir(s) to use to feed the canal at different periods in the boating season and whether to use alternative resources, such as pumps, to supplement the reservoir water. Our records show reservoir levels for every week going back over many years, so we can compare the current situation against historical years, including drought periods."