LOCKS MAY SHUT OUT OF HOURS
IF DROUGHT CONTINUES
 
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Locks on the non-tidal river may have to be shut out of hours if the drought continues through the summer , the Environment Agency has warned.

The news comes despite river flows of the last fortnight which saw 'strong stream' warnings in force along the whole river.

In a letter to boaters Andrew Graham, the agency's drought team leader, says:"Groundwater levels are still well below average, and are not likely to recover until winter.

"Last month, the Thames catchment received 255 per cent of the rainfall that we would normally expect in April. But March was exceptionally dry, and the Thames catchment only received 38 per cent of its long-term average rainfall for the month. River flows were more typical of late summer."

The agency says continued drought could result in voluntary delays at locks among other measures.

But if the situation gets even worse further measures could include:out-of-hours power switched off at locks; lock use restricted to once every half hour and locks closed out of hours.

The agency say: "The water levels may vary along the river and the measures will be implemented accordingly. Each lock keeper will be able to tell you the situation at their lock. Out of hours, please refer to the lock notice board. "

Story dated May 17th 2012


   
     
     
         
 
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