Climate Change Concerns Raised with Waterway Minister04 September 2019
Following the damage to the dam at Toddbrook Reservoir as a result of torrential rain on 1st August, the subsequent evacuation of Whaley Bridge and the operation to reduce the water level in the reservoir to a safe level, we have written to the Dr Thérèse Coffey MP, Minister of State in the Department for Food & Rural Affairs with responsibility for the inland waterways.
The letter highlights the importance of government funding in ensuring that historic structures such as reservoirs and embankments are maintained in optimum condition, in order to avoid greater costs (as well as the threat to life and property) when failures occur, particularly in the light of the ongoing extremes in weather patterns that the UK has been experiencing in recent years as a result of global warming.
Climate change is likely to bring greater pressure on historic and fragile infrastructure such as reservoirs and embankments. We have asked Dr Coffey, whose ministerial responsibilities also include flooding and climate change, to ensure that adequate funding is allocated so that these assets are maintained to the necessary standard in order to minimise the dangers from failure in the future.