THOUGH at the moment the country is covered by clouds and rain, there is annual warning about water shortages on the canals.
Though the majority of the BW network reservoir holdings are stable, for some parts of the BW network however, the weather has meant that a number of the reservoirs used to supply the canals have had less inflow and refill, and therefore increased drawdown to meet canal demands.
Both the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and the Peak Forest and Macclesfield Canal reservoir groups are currently at lower holdings than each of the corresponding months in the historical period 1998 to the present. This situation has resulted in some restrictions to navigation being applied to conserve water resources for later in the boating season.
According to the Met Office, June was warmer and sunnier than average, and drier in most areas. The end of the month brought with it some of the highest temperatures in the past three years, but also some very heavy and intense thunderstorms. Mean temperatures were up to 1.5 °C above the 1971-2000 normal across the UK. For 2009 as a whole, mean temperatures have been above the long term average for all months except January, and rainfall has been below the long term average for the year so far.
The Met Office seasonal forecast for the rest of the summer is for average rainfall and above average temperatures.
Boaters concerned about water shortage are advised to consult the local BW office of the area they plan to cruise before setting out.