I have just had an update from the Environment agency and they have confirmed that:
This winter has been the 3rd Driest on record!
And no significant rainfall forecast for the next few weeks.
On behalf of the Sailing Club I have been in constant communication with both United Utilities and the Environment Agency, attempting to have the daily extraction rate reduced to a minimum to protect our sailing activities, noting that the extraction rate is governed by an act of Parliament which makes any changes extremely problematic and takes an inordinate amount of time.
However, even with the reduction of the extraction rate to 9M/l per day, due to the lack of rainfall the water level is still dropping. The problem is not isolated to Belmont but is affecting other reservoirs across the Northwest. It has now reached crisis point at Belmont with the water level dropping to -5 metres. United Utilities have submitted a further dispensation to reduce the outflow to 6M/l per day and this is with the assessment team at the Environment Agency at Warrington. The dilemma is if the water outflow is reduced by too great an amount then there would be an impact on the flora and fauna in Eagley Brook however if there is insufficient water remaining in the reservoir then there would be additional problems with the Belmont Treatment works which uses water from Belmont Reservoir in their processes. Having spoken with the EA today it is anticipated that the decision will be made by this time next week. A reduction to 6M/l per day should allow the water level to recover to the current state and allow it to return to normal levels more quickly however, this is predicated on heavy rainfall in the next few weeks/months.
PLEASE NOTE the Sailing Committee are exploring all options to keep the club sailing, so we may need to have a sailors meeting at short notice to let everyone know what’s happening, so check the website/emails as it may be called asap (e.g. Sunday after sailing) once we’ve made arrangements