Scot­tish plan to bring money flood­ing in

FORTH & CLYDE

Canal Boat - - News -

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.

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