Whilst poking about on the C&RT website I happened across the reservoir levels for January. I was surprised to see that they aren't all completely topped up as we have had the wettest December for at least 50 years in most areas leading to flooding of rivers in many areas and even self regulating canals!
The Grand Union overflows near Stoke Bruerne. November 2012.
It seems that whilst most canal reservoirs are at almost full capacity there are some anomalies. The first is that the Keenet and Avon group of reservoirs are down 16% on Decembers levels. This is explained by them having to let water out of their Crofton Reservoir to prevent flooding in the locality.
The Caldon Canal reservoirs are only at 86% capacity and I can't see any majors works going on there. They appear to be healthy levels still though.
Grand Union south reservoirs are at 92% after a 35% increase in January. This is quite unusual as normally it is late on in the winter that the reservoirs start to fill up as this occurs only when the water table has become fully saturated, which they obviously are now.
The worrying one for those of us on this side of the Pennines is the fact that the Huddersfield Narrow Canal reservoirs are only at 21% full, despite a 9% increase in January and this is the lowest level for the month since 1998! It looks like there has been major work on the Slaithwaite reservoir and it is only now starting to fill again. I wouldn't wish more wet weather on the people of Slaithwaite but if it doesn't get a good few more inches there it could mean restrictions on the Huddersfield later in the year, and we don't want it to end up looking like this do we? Mind you some of the pounds on the Narrow look like that anyway occasionally!
The Trent and Mersey following a land slip draining the canal. September 2012
Photo Andrew Davis
If you are heading that way best to keep your eye on the sate of the reservoirs that can be checked at this address.