Drought fears force work at Draycote

By IH 22/02 Updated: 22/02 12:59

Buy photos » Draycote Water is at risk of running dry after the region was officially declared to be in drought. Picture courtesy of Ian Rob. (s)

WORK is underway on a £500,000 project to prevent Draycote reservoir running dry.

Record low rainfall over the winter has left water levels very low at Draycote, and has prompted the Environment Agency to declare parts of the region officially in drought, and regional water supplier Severn Trent has been focused on moving raw water supplies across the region from the wetter west to the drier east to balance out supplies.

Measures are being taken across the region to ensure households do not face usage restrictions this year, including the scheme at Draycote.

Kate Vickers, Severn Trent water production manager, explained “The scheme at Draycote is designed to refill the reservoir ready for the coming year.

"At the moment the reservoir has been effectively 'switched off' and customers in the area are being supplied from Meriden. To get water back into the reservoir one of the things we are doing is using a new pipe to take water - when river levels are high enough to allow - out of the River Leam at Willes Meadow, near Leamington and pump it up to Draycote."

It will involve pumping water a total distance of nine miles and up a height of 50 metres. The majority of the length will use an existing pipe which normally takes water in the opposite direction from Draycote to Leamington, but the flow will be reversed. The last 800 metres will be new pipe which is currently being laid overland on site at Draycote to take water into the reservoir.

Ms Vickers added: "We will be able to pump up to a maximum of 12.5 million litres a day into Draycote, but our average amount of water will be around 10 million litres a day. This is a huge investment for us and is only a small part of the work that we are doing to avoid water usage restrictions this year.

“We have done everything we can to ensure that this work can happen safely and we are pleased to say that the whole of the site will be kept open during the work to allow people to visit as normal."

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