Letter: Manage reservoirs to stop floods

High water levels at Baitings Reservoir
High water levels at Baitings Reservoir

I wish to draw your urgent attention to the problem of potential flooding particularly in the Ryburn Valley here in West Yorkshire (not far from Hebden Bridge).

This valley is the location of three reservoirs, that is the Ryburn, Baitings and Booth Wood.

At the moment all these reservoirs are full and overflowing, causing the River Ryburn to be flowing at a very high level.

Flooding is imminent, and with the current heavy rain, the river will shortly be bursting its banks and severe flooding will then occur down stream in Sowerby Bridge.

Next week is forecast to be drier so if the three reservoirs were lowered a few feet by releasing water carefully via the scour valves, this would then take up a lot of the water cascading down from the moors when the inevitable downpours come.

Careful management of these scour valves during every dry spell during the winter could ensure a ‘buffer’ was created, collecting a large amount of the surplus water before it poured down the river causing the devastating flood damage.

This could be achieved at very little cost.

Other areas probably have similar conditions.

The same reservoir management could be applied where possible.

Anthony Mellor, Bar Lane, Ripponden