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Timmytour

Reservoir Watch

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A couple of years ago a dry winter was followed by a dry summer and the media was flocking to our reservoirs to show how desperately low they were. There was general talk of ddom and gloom as the watertable was said to be at record lows and experts were pointing out that it would take years of sustained above average rainfall for the reservoirs to recover. There was even serious discussion on the possibility of bring water to the parched south of the country from those places in the North where rain was still abundant.

So where's all the media interest and concern now?

And what levels are the reservoirs at these days? Do we still need those years of sustained above average rainfall? Or are they pretty much up to the mark right now?

I'm thinking they must be pretty close to being full if not already there with all the rain we've had over the past seven or eight months (though not every month it's fair to say).

I think the truth is that we live in an age where we overreact to everything....and with all the lectures about climate change, a few hot days of sunshine seems to bring out the doom and gloom merchants more easily than ever. But I'm disapoointed in some respects that the spotlight has gone away from the threat of drought at the moment. It will come back as sure as day follows night and once again we will all be under tremendous pressure to conserve our water supplies and switch to a meter system (the latter of which I regard as a price increase by stealth).

However there should be a spotlight on the issue right now....and that spotlight should be focused on what the water companies are doing to harvest any water that's currently surplus to requirements. Those companies that have the right to enforce bans on the way we use their "product" in certain situations, ought to have duty imposed to ensure that all precaution that alleviate such a necessity are undertaken.

Right now there seems to be no pressure on them regarding leaking pipes and harvesting water effectively. But this is precisely the time when that pressure is most needed.

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And what levels are the reservoirs at these days? Do we still need those years of sustained above average rainfall? Or are they pretty much up to the mark right now?

I'm thinking they must be pretty close to being full if not already there with all the rain we've had over the past seven or eight months (though not every month it's fair to say).

http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/subje...458132/?lang=_e

As at the end of November, close to what they should be. These figures should be updated to the end of December in a few days.

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hi timmy, i had a walk around lake vyrnwy yesterday and it was certainly full, not suprising with all the rainfall recently

post-6055-1200226564_thumb.jpg

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The reservoirs near me that supply much of South Wales are full to the brim. I doubt there are any in Wales that aren't full. Lots more rain to come too this week.

They've been pretty full since August or so I think.

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plenty of water down here, infact we are now exporting it to the sea :huh:

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its not what falls out of the sky that the media should be focusing on..its the amount of water that is wasted through leakage and poor up keep of the system..this country loses up to 6 or 7 times the amount of water through leaks etc than our european neighbours do..yet we have some of the highest bills..surprise surprise...i think that is scandoulous..it is easy for them to blame the weather for their negligence!

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its not what falls out of the sky that the media should be focusing on..its the amount of water that is wasted through leakage and poor up keep of the system..this country loses up to 6 or 7 times the amount of water through leaks etc than our european neighbours do..yet we have some of the highest bills..surprise surprise...i think that is scandoulous..it is easy for them to blame the weather for their negligence!

Cheeky, I'm sorry but this is a classic example of the ignorant being led by the unknowing into areas where they know very little. Having worked with several of the UK's water companies I can assure you that you would much rather pay for a system that has excess capacity built in but which is leaky, than one which never leaks. There's a principle in most network asset operations of economic return, and it can be applied to almost any asset to determine the optimum range of operation of the asset, such that the cost of repair and maintenance does not go beyond a point at, on one end of the scale, service is inadequate, and on the other service is too expensive. I daresay you don't take your car to the garage for a check up every week do you, nor I bet do you turn the engine off when you're sat in a queue. Equally with water, FAR more is wasted by needless and wasteful use (e.g. washing cars, watering of gardens up and down the country, excess toilet flush, faulty overflows...) every year than is lost through uneconomic loss from leaky pipes.

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Cheeky, I'm sorry but this is a classic example of the ignorant being led by the unknowing into areas where they know very little. Having worked with several of the UK's water companies I can assure you that you would much rather pay for a system that has excess capacity built in but which is leaky, than one which never leaks. There's a principle in most network asset operations of economic return, and it can be applied to almost any asset to determine the optimum range of operation of the asset, such that the cost of repair and maintenance does not go beyond a point at, on one end of the scale, service is inadequate, and on the other service is too expensive. I daresay you don't take your car to the garage for a check up every week do you, nor I bet do you turn the engine off when you're sat in a queue. Equally with water, FAR more is wasted by needless and wasteful use (e.g. washing cars, watering of gardens up and down the country, excess toilet flush, faulty overflows...) every year than is lost through uneconomic loss from leaky pipes.

Hats off to Stratos Ferric, not only are the reservoirs full and the leaks diminishing, but the quality of drinking water is improving too.

http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/statis...r/kf/iwkf14.htm

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A couple of years ago a dry winter was followed by a dry summer and the media was flocking to our reservoirs to show how desperately low they were. There was general talk of ddom and gloom as the watertable was said to be at record lows and experts were pointing out that it would take years of sustained above average rainfall for the reservoirs to recover. There was even serious discussion on the possibility of bring water to the parched south of the country from those places in the North where rain was still abundant.

So where's all the media interest and concern now?

And what levels are the reservoirs at these days? Do we still need those years of sustained above average rainfall? Or are they pretty much up to the mark right now?

I'm thinking they must be pretty close to being full if not already there with all the rain we've had over the past seven or eight months (though not every month it's fair to say).

I think the truth is that we live in an age where we overreact to everything....and with all the lectures about climate change, a few hot days of sunshine seems to bring out the doom and gloom merchants more easily than ever. But I'm disapoointed in some respects that the spotlight has gone away from the threat of drought at the moment. It will come back as sure as day follows night and once again we will all be under tremendous pressure to conserve our water supplies and switch to a meter system (the latter of which I regard as a price increase by stealth).

However there should be a spotlight on the issue right now....and that spotlight should be focused on what the water companies are doing to harvest any water that's currently surplus to requirements. Those companies that have the right to enforce bans on the way we use their "product" in certain situations, ought to have duty imposed to ensure that all precaution that alleviate such a necessity are undertaken.

Right now there seems to be no pressure on them regarding leaking pipes and harvesting water effectively. But this is precisely the time when that pressure is most needed.

Drought!!! There will NEVER be drought in England again, of that I can assure you :o Personally, I find it obscene that we should have to live in a swamp all year round with never a break from the incessant rain. I'm old enough to remember more normal years, around 1990, when rainfall was far lower than today, yet we all managed perfectly well. Sunshine amounts were much higher then, & ppl's health was much better, no stinking Norovirus every year as at present, cos of the never ending rain & lack of sun. 1975 & 76 up till 10/9/76, were almost idyllic, fine, sunny, dry for months on end, far better than the onions we have to put up with today. The danger is, not that our reservoirs will ever run out, but will ppl literally be flooded out of living where they are, as our rainfall gets wetter & wetter with every passing year? :o

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Hats off to Stratos Ferric, not only are the reservoirs full and the leaks diminishing, but the quality of drinking water is improving too.

http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/statis...r/kf/iwkf14.htm

In terms of leaks diminishing it looks as though the distribution losses have been reduced whereas the supply losses have remained close to unchanged.

Link

report

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Hats off to Stratos Ferric, not only are the reservoirs full and the leaks diminishing, but the quality of drinking water is improving too.

http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/statis...r/kf/iwkf14.htm

I claim none of the credit there, but will say that the UK leads the owrld in drinking water quality. Amongst much of our victorian engineering heritage, and even alongside the hugely over-engineered edifice that is Blackpool Tower, water production and supply stands proud as an example of expensive, if generally very robust, over-engineering.

If we were starting again now we'd do it a different way.

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the UK leads the owrld in drinking water quality.

Have you tasted the water in Bristol? :huh:

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I have nothing against the quality of drinking tapwater, at least where I am, though I would say that it would be hard pressed to beat the quality of the tapwater I enjoyed in the flat I had in Zurich when I worked there for a while. That was truly nectar!

I think the trouble with our water supply is that it is there to waste at times. By that I mean if the reservoirs are full to the brim right now - and thanks for the reports :) - with more torrential rain to come, why on earth would anyone consider inconveniencing themselves even slightly to save water right now? What good would it actually do?

The lessons of the past surely stem from the fact that long dry spells will at some point visit us again - despite the optimism of nkaol2001! Remember the bleak pictures that were painted about how long it would take our reservoirs to recover a couple of years ago? It would have been nigh on impossible to find any one who would have predicted that we would be where we are today, with bountiful supplies once more.

So we need to be in a position whereby when we are faced with those long dry spells next time, they don't create the problems we have had in the past. We should be crying out for more reservoirs, more underground chambers and other measure to reap this rich harvest of rain we are currently experiencing. Because what we are experiencing at the moment might just be the opportunity of a lifetime to push the danger of a shortage of water further away then ever before.

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The other problem is that a lot of reservoirs were removed back in the 80's - 90's and the land recovered. So we are now in the situation where we probably get enough rainfall to keep us going even through dry spells but don't have enough reservoirs to store it in.

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The other problem is that a lot of reservoirs were removed back in the 80's - 90's and the land recovered. So we are now in the situation where we probably get enough rainfall to keep us going even through dry spells but don't have enough reservoirs to store it in.

I'm not aware of any raw water Reservoirs being removed. There has occasionally been infill of small storage reservoirs, but invariably these have been replaced by other, often buried, facilities. In addition, many of these would not have been for potable water, but for commercial uses: here in W Yorkshire many weaving mills maintained their own supplies; now that most mills are closed these reservoirs are redundant.

I have nothing against the quality of drinking tapwater, at least where I am, though I would say that it would be hard pressed to beat the quality of the tapwater I enjoyed in the flat I had in Zurich when I worked there for a while. That was truly nectar!

I think the trouble with our water supply is that it is there to waste at times. By that I mean if the reservoirs are full to the brim right now - and thanks for the reports :lol: - with more torrential rain to come, why on earth would anyone consider inconveniencing themselves even slightly to save water right now? What good would it actually do?

The lessons of the past surely stem from the fact that long dry spells will at some point visit us again - despite the optimism of nkaol2001! Remember the bleak pictures that were painted about how long it would take our reservoirs to recover a couple of years ago? It would have been nigh on impossible to find any one who would have predicted that we would be where we are today, with bountiful supplies once more.

So we need to be in a position whereby when we are faced with those long dry spells next time, they don't create the problems we have had in the past. We should be crying out for more reservoirs, more underground chambers and other measure to reap this rich harvest of rain we are currently experiencing. Because what we are experiencing at the moment might just be the opportunity of a lifetime to push the danger of a shortage of water further away then ever before.

It's a nice theory, but any network operation is designed for certain events only. Telephone netowrks, for instance, used to be designed so that on 99% of occasions you could make a call without getting busied out at the local end. Building a network that would remove the risk would actually cost around twice as much as one that runs only a 1% risk. It's beyond the economic point of return. This is why not all leaks are removed: water is NOT a precious commodity in terms of value / unit volume. There comes a a point where reducing leakage costs money but does not increase revenue or service. Yes, when supplies are low, it looks bad, but decisions are made not during extreme events, but across long periods of time. Thus airlines occasionally overbook, hotels cannot always accommodate all potential guests, and roads have queues on them at some times of day.

What is needed is more considered consumption at times when supplies are diminishing. We have in the UK a climate that ensures an excess of evapotranspiration between around April and September, and an excess of groundwater build up between around October and March. The SE is further hindered by having a lower annual rainfall budget, more density of demand for water, and a geology that does not favour the huge capacity storage available in the uplands of W and N Britain. The storage systen is like a spnge: it can only hold so much, and if a drought occurs of sufficient magnitude that capacity is going to be stretched. A national water grid is mooted, but to date the cost of establishing a grid - even say using canals - far outweighs the perceived risk. Let's not forget, during recent shortages, the taps have not run dry. All people have had to forego is watering lawns and washing cars: in the great scheme of things to worry about on this earth, if that's top of anybody's list then it's a sad indictment of their moral compass.

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Tunstall res' half a mile away seems full...then again we rarely lack rain here :doh:

The water quality's excellent too it must be said.

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I'm not aware of any raw water Reservoirs being removed. There has occasionally been infill of small storage reservoirs, but invariably these have been replaced by other, often buried, facilities. In addition, many of these would not have been for potable water, but for commercial uses: here in W Yorkshire many weaving mills maintained their own supplies; now that most mills are closed these reservoirs are redundant.

It's a nice theory, but any network operation is designed for certain events only. Telephone netowrks, for instance, used to be designed so that on 99% of occasions you could make a call without getting busied out at the local end. Building a network that would remove the risk would actually cost around twice as much as one that runs only a 1% risk. It's beyond the economic point of return. This is why not all leaks are removed: water is NOT a precious commodity in terms of value / unit volume. There comes a a point where reducing leakage costs money but does not increase revenue or service. Yes, when supplies are low, it looks bad, but decisions are made not during extreme events, but across long periods of time. Thus airlines occasionally overbook, hotels cannot always accommodate all potential guests, and roads have queues on them at some times of day.

What is needed is more considered consumption at times when supplies are diminishing. We have in the UK a climate that ensures an excess of evapotranspiration between around April and September, and an excess of groundwater build up between around October and March. The SE is further hindered by having a lower annual rainfall budget, more density of demand for water, and a geology that does not favour the huge capacity storage available in the uplands of W and N Britain. The storage systen is like a spnge: it can only hold so much, and if a drought occurs of sufficient magnitude that capacity is going to be stretched. A national water grid is mooted, but to date the cost of establishing a grid - even say using canals - far outweighs the perceived risk. Let's not forget, during recent shortages, the taps have not run dry. All people have had to forego is watering lawns and washing cars: in the great scheme of things to worry about on this earth, if that's top of anybody's list then it's a sad indictment of their moral compass.

Amen. Two other things to consider here - not all of our potable water comes from reservoirs - I live on top of a commercially abstracted aquifer where groundwater is abstracted for domestic purposes. Our aquifer was abstracted in the late 90's to the point where Anglian Water voluntarily ceased abstraction on environmental grounds. I doubt that direct aquifer abstraction is commercially significant (SF?) but it is environmentally sensitive and these do require time to recharge.

Secondly, as SF says, there's always a trade off in complex systems between robustness and commercial realism. Just as our gas and electricity grid would not cope with every single eventuality, nor will our water infrastructure. What it is, is remarkable for the cost. I was recently involved in the expansion of Rutland Water (from an environmental point-of-view) and the figures Anglian Water produced regarding water 'leakage' in their system, compared with expanding the capacity at Rutland were eye-watering.

Personally, I'd love to see everyone metered.

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Personally, I'd love to see everyone metered.

Is that just so those nasty people who raise families and spend their lives bringing up the taxpayers of tomorrow - who will pay for the pensions of those working today - can pay more?

I'm not against the notion of people conserving water as much as possible when times are scarce. But since the Water companies are private, I passionately believe that shareholders should make at least as much sacrifice as customers do in times of scarcity. And they should have some form of responsibility to ensure that the capability of storing water in times of excess is more than sufficient to ward off the threat of shortages that arrive too often after just one relatively dry winter which leads into a dry spring and summer.

But using meters to charge us for something that falls out of the sky is ridiculous imo. It's a way of enriching those companies without any effort on their part. Look at the way things are today. A plentiful water supply and yet the notion that the less water you use the less you pay will encourage people to use less safe means of either getting water, or avoid using it altogether at the cost of personal hygiene.

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Is that just so those nasty people who raise families and spend their lives bringing up the taxpayers of tomorrow - who will pay for the pensions of those working today - can pay more?

But using meters to charge us for something that falls out of the sky is ridiculous imo. It's a way of enriching those companies without any effort on their part.

No, it's because it's the easiest way of accurately assessing water usage, which is surely a good thing, unless you actually want the water companies to charge you on the back of a best guesstimate. As for the second part of your quote - the sky doesn't treat your tap water to make it potable. It doesn't remove, then treat your sewage. It doesn't monitor the outputs from sewage plants to ensure discharges are environmentally safe. It doesn't remove pollutants, nor does it fix the burst mains in the street outside or supply water by bowser when it floods, or during droughts. It doesn't monitor the availability of water to minimise impacts on customers or the environment. It does allow cross-catchment water transportation, but pretty randomly.

No doubt the AMP5 process will again look hard at water conservation measures as part of pricing and major infrastructure costs undoubtedly necessary to provide facilities for the new Growth Point areas. This is another area where the water industry is leading the way. How much for a similar system for energy infrastructure?

An objection to linking metering and billing is a vaild point of view (whether you agree or not) but metering itself, I honestly can't see a downside.

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No, it's because it's the easiest way of accurately assessing water usage, which is surely a good thing, unless you actually want the water companies to charge you on the back of a best guesstimate. As for the second part of your quote - the sky doesn't treat your tap water to make it potable. It doesn't remove, then treat your sewage. It doesn't monitor the outputs from sewage plants to ensure discharges are environmentally safe. It doesn't remove pollutants, nor does it fix the burst mains in the street outside or supply water by bowser when it floods, or during droughts. It doesn't monitor the availability of water to minimise impacts on customers or the environment. It does allow cross-catchment water transportation, but pretty randomly.

No doubt the AMP5 process will again look hard at water conservation measures as part of pricing and major infrastructure costs undoubtedly necessary to provide facilities for the new Growth Point areas. This is another area where the water industry is leading the way. How much for a similar system for energy infrastructure?

An objection to linking metering and billing is a vaild point of view (whether you agree or not) but metering itself, I honestly can't see a downside.

I don't actually see the need to accurately assess water usage. We survived for decades without such assessments before the Water Boards were privatised and I don't see the need now, except as a means for charging people more to use the stuff.

And why for example should families be penalised for using more than the childless couple who have made no investment towards supplying the country with its future taxpayers?

It's true what you say about what the sky doesn't do... but then again these things have to be done no matter how much the sky produces. Unlike electricity or gas, water can be considered to be in endless supply... there is no means of "buying forward" for the "suppliers"! In other words, the cost is in the infrastructure and the infrastructure alone. The amount we use has little if any bearing on the amount of cost borne by the companies. So why should they have easy access to a system whereby they can charge us for how much we use?

It may be straying off the subject just a little, but can I take it that you are in favour of people using libraries being charged per book they take out or the time they spend in the buildings. I think the principle is the same, in that a similar argument as to "who pays" can be made, but it becomes logic that defies common sense :-).

One more thing... I think the general principle of water metering leads to a situation where in times of shortage, the price of water rises. And that would lead to a situation where the well-to do could afford to continue watering their gardens while those least able to afford it would be watching every cup they drank, and become wary of flushing thier toilets.

While I regard myself as being on a different side of a fence than those who advocate socialism, that prospect fills me with dread. I think it's inevitable as far as the likes of electricity and gas are concerned, but god forbid we ever get to a situation where the freedom to use water is designated by how wealthy you are!

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And why for example should families be penalised for using more than the childless couple who have made no investment towards supplying the country with its future taxpayers?

Yeah, we're selfish scum who, despite the fact that we're net contributors to the Social Security system, the NHS and the Tax system make no contribution to the future of the country. Come on, you can't possibly be saying that only people who have children are contributing to the future of the country...or are you?

It may be straying off the subject just a little, but can I take it that you are in favour of people using libraries being charged per book they take out or the time they spend in the buildings. I think the principle is the same, in that a similar argument as to "who pays" can be made, but it becomes logic that defies common sense :-).

No, because I don't advocate using metering to set charges, but to assess need - two different things. To use your analogy, it's a bit like the librarian knowing how many books are out in which town, but not knowing who has them. How do they then decide where to build new libraries so they will get the most use? How do they know where to send the mobile libraries? How do the plan for library expansion of service?

One more thing... I think the general principle of water metering leads to a situation where in times of shortage, the price of water rises. And that would lead to a situation where the well-to do could afford to continue watering their gardens while those least able to afford it would be watching every cup they drank, and become wary of flushing thier toilets.

While I regard myself as being on a different side of a fence than those who advocate socialism, that prospect fills me with dread. I think it's inevitable as far as the likes of electricity and gas are concerned, but god forbid we ever get to a situation where the freedom to use water is designated by how wealthy you are!

Of course, no-one sane would think the above is a positive thing, but the law of the land prevents this from happening, metering or no metering. Only after negotiation and agreement with OFWAT can a water company change what it charges for water. They are effectively government controlled and metering has nothing to do with that.

As others have said, we have no national grid for water. To build one would cost billions of pounds that the Government would subsidise to a minor degree. Where would the money come from? Water is not an endless supply in the Home Counties if the SE continues to expand as it is and is planned to do under the Thames Gateway and others Growth Points. In Wales, yes. In the North Pennines, true, but in the South East, as it stands, demand of water does outstrip the ability to supply from regional resources, which is why water companies down there buy water from companies further north and west.

I doubt we'll agree on this, as I suspect that this hinges on the fact that you don't trust water companies, whereas I don't see a choice.

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And why for example should families be penalised for using more than the childless couple who have made no investment towards supplying the country with its future taxpayers?

Not everyone can have children, you know. I work and pay taxes. I also pay NI, even tho' I am opted out.

I'm not entirely convinced that many of the 'future taxpayers' will in fact be paying tax, looking at the number of welfare families being encouraged to breed without constraint.

Sorry, but that sort of comment (above) gets my dander up. If people choose to have a family then they should be able to support them - and if they use more water (and all of its associated services) than others then they should pay a little extra for it.

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I think my local one must be 200% full by now... :lol:

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