It looks like we’re in a wettish spell weather wise, but of course we needed it after the dry April. I took a look at the CRT Reservoir site and as expected, the reservoirs took quite a hit last month, what with the dry weather and the start of the boating season. Down south the typical drop in levels was around 10% over the month, which isn’t too serious but not an ideal start to the season. Further north, on the Leeds and Liverpool, levels fell by 18% and the poor old Lancaster went down by 24% although some of that was due to a draw down for engineering works. The report says that “We are advising local operational staff on the optimum feed quantities to ensure efficient use of the water available and maximising use of back pumps (where they are installed) to recirculate water used by locks, in case the recent dry weather continues through the late spring and into the summer.”
Well it looks like bad weather might come to the rescue, but what then for those of us who have to negotiate rivers. Of course, most boaters know about how to check on the Thames (http://riverconditions.environment-agency.gov.uk/) , but what about the smaller rivers . Where do we check on them before setting out? Down on the jolly old Oxford we have to join the cheery little Cherwell on a couple of stretches, above Aynho, and between Enslow and Thrupp. We are not supposed to continue if the level on the indicator boards go into the red. Little rivers like this can go up and down like yo-yos. Others like the Stort, the Soar and the notorious Nene spring to mind.
So today is asked Mr Google for help and lo and behold he came up with the goods, pointing me to a site called
Apologies if you already knew about this site, but I didn’t, and it is exactly what we want. It appears to be quite a new site, and they say it is still under development, but already it looks great. Bear in mind though that it is primarily designed to indicate river levels from a flood warning point of view rather than a navigation one.
It seems to have precise monitoring levels for all the English navigable rivers I could think of and it looks like they may be updated at least daily. I’m sure they wont mind me showing you a couple of screen shots as I now find myself plugging their site:
You’ll notice from the top one that it might also be handy for those times when you want to buy a Porsche, I’m fresh out of them myself as it happens. Anyhow I think it’s a brilliant site and I’ll certainly be consulting it.