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 Boating on the non-tidal Thames - drought update

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David Harvey


Male Posts : 5381
Join date : 2010-01-21
Age : 103
Location : Surrey,

PostSubject: Boating on the non-tidal Thames - drought update   Thu May 17, 2012 3:20 pm

Dear boater,

How does the drought affect you now?

At present there are no drought-related restrictions to boating on the Thames. Recent rainfall has increased flows in the River Thames, though this is likely to be relatively short-lived unless there is further rain.

Thames Water’s hosepipe ban means that you may not use a hosepipe to wash a leisure boat. You may only use our water points to fill up your boat’s water tanks; not to wash your boat.

Please continue to use water wisely. The south east is still in drought. One month’s significant rainfall after an extended dry period is not enough to greatly alter the situation. 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.

Potential impacts for boating

Falling water levels trigger actions for us to maintain river levels for boating. In order, these are:

A ban on the use of hoses/sprinklers at lock sites - implemented April 2012

Voluntary delays to lock passage – not yet implemented

Elevation of water levels above target – not yet implemented

‘Sealing’ of weir sluices (depending on water levels) – not yet implemented (although works to minimise leakage in weirs and locks are under way)

If the drought worsens and flows on the Thames decline, further potential actions are:

Out-of-hours power switched off at powered locks

Lock passage restricted to once every half hour

Locks closed out of hours

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.

For more information
For updates on the drought position on the Thames, please visit our website at

If you would like to receive e-mail updates about the drought or other river information please e-mail us at and include ‘Register for updates’ in the title of your message.

For updates on river conditions please call our free Navigation Information Line on 0845 988 1188 (when prompted press 1, followed by 011131) or visit
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