Another Chasewater 'victim'

Published: Tuesday, 16 February 2010

THERE is every chance that yet another canal event will have to be cancelled due to the repairs to Chasewater Reservoir.

Following on the news in NbW yesterday that two events had already been cancelled owing to the possible lack of water, the annual Brownhills Canal Festival is another that is threatened.  The picture shows a previous festival.

On a hill

The massive reservoir serves the BCN, and as boaters know only too well Birmingham and Wolverhampton are on a hill, and so a great deal of water is used by boats either cruising up to the conurbation or leaving, and the draining of the reservoir for repair, and its subsequent filling relying on rainfall, is an unknown quantity.

Doug Birch MBE, Chairman of Brownhills Local Committee, explained:

"We are awaiting advice from British Waterways, it is down to things like lock usage, water levels and whether there is going to be any water left in the canal or not.

"At the moment we are optimistic but it might be that British Waterways comes back and says 'no way', then it will have to be cancelled or postponed."

Visiting boats

Though the festival is more of a canalside event, it still relies on visiting boats.

British Waterways spokesman Stephen Hardy related:

"We are assessing the situation. The reservoir is the main feed for the canal network in the area.  We are trying to understand what the effect will be on the water levels. We are not asking people to stay away at this stage, but restricting the use of the canals is one of the measures we are looking at."