Scottish plan to bring money flooding in
FORTH & CLYDE
A PIONEERING SCHEME to use the canals of Glasgow as a reservoir to hold flood water is set to enable major regeneration to the north of the city to take place – and to bring in significant income for canal maintenance.
Following the decline of traditional industries, there is huge regeneration potential for the area, with more than 1,000 acres of empty or derelict land within walking distance of the city centre. However, the necessary land drainage to cope with water run-off from the new developments after heavy rainfall makes it uneconomic – for example, a stormwater tunnel might cost £40m.
So Scottish Canals is working on a plan whereby the summit pound of the Forth & Clyde Canal could be dropped by up to 100mm (4in) in advance of forecast storms which, given that this pound extends for almost 20 miles from the city centre, would allow it to accept some 40 million litres of flood run-off – enough to cope with a 20- to 50-year ‘flood event’. Enough weir capacity already exists to lower the level in under 24 hours, and following testing over the last 3-4 years, the system is likely to go live in 2018-19.
This will bring in income for Scottish Canals running into the millions (the exact figure is subject to negotiations), as well as enabling redevelopment schemes to go ahead, including the surroundings of Port Dundas (pictured), the currently underused terminus of the canal’s Glasgow Arm.