CRT respond to hydrology issues

CRT have responded to questions raised by NABO members at the November AGM event.

Emily Crisp is an hydrologist at the Canal and River Trust, and spoke with her colleague (boss) at the afternoon meeting.

Read hear what Emily has said:

During the discussion sessions at your AGM, I was concerned about a couple of points that were raised to me by your members. Consequently, I investigated them further with members of my team and have the following answers for you to share with your members – 

1)     The ‘manager’ of the K&A has been advising boaters that the K&A will be closed in 5 years time due to new housing estates abstracting water away from the canal.

We appreciate your concern, however we am unsure regarding the source and validity of this statement. Water Companies have a statutory obligation to produce long term strategic water resource plans. These have a similar concept to what we are trying to achieve with our Water Resource Strategy. We have reviewed the strategic plans of Water Companies operating within the catchments of the canal network. Where appropriate we have commented on these plans to robustly ensure that abstraction for potable water supply does not have a detrimental impact on our ability to maintain navigation.

Furthermore, within our Water Resources Strategy we are investigating ‘future pressures’ to water resources within the canal network. As part of these investigations we have identified the following which have the potential to reduce water supply to the canal network:

–       Climate change

–       Increasingly stringent environmental legislation,

Allowances for this will be incorporated into our long term water resources assessments. Your feedback is appreciated. Any further comments or queries please get in touch.


2)     Stoke Bruerne Lock back pumps are on full time but water is constantly flows over the gates apparently. There appears to be a problem with management at this site? Is there?

During the main boating season we review all our water resources data on a weekly basis. Following this review we formulate a weekly operational strategy to deploy our water resources in the most efficient way as possible. As part of this process we refine the operational parameters for our pumping stations.

The Stoke Bruerne pumps are triggered to run automatically when the Stowe Hill Pound calls for the water (i.e. the upstream level drops to a pre-determined low-level threshold). The pumps automatically stop running when the Stowe Hill Pound level reaches a pre-determined upper threshold.  This upper threshold is set to the lowest waste weir in the pound so that the pumps will cut out before the water reaches this level.

There are no formal bypass arrangements at the locks along the Stoke Bruerne flight. To top up the lock flight pounds water is fed down the flight via letter box weirs and over the bottom gates. Occasionally there are lock surges from upstream pounds due to uneven boat movements. 

We publish a number of frequently asked questions on our website that you may also find useful. Please use the following link. Your feedback regarding pumping efficiencies is appreciated.