On March 15th Richard Cannon and Graham Thompson went to Sunbury Court to attend a consultation on planned changes to the weirs at Sunbury, Molesey and Teddington.
Ten miles of additional flood channels for the Thames are being constructed between Datchet and Shepperton to reduce flood risks in places such as Chertsey and Wraysbury. This will increase flows by a few percentage points, necessitating increases in the capacities of the three weirs.
Well presented detailed displays, backed up by a bevy of Environment Agency staff, showed the additional channels and the range of possible extra gates at each weir. Our objective was to check for any potential adverse impact on Aquarius. We concluded that water levels would drop by 10 centimetres on average, the speed of strong flows would increase slightly but they would not last so long, so overall there is no case for alarm but the project warrants monitoring.
This is a very long term project; weir modification is expected to start in 2018, flood channel construction in 2020 and to take 5 years.
The Middle Thames Yacht Club at Sunbury were recently given a special presentation, as the majority of the proposals for Sunbury involved cutting new channels through their island, but an alternative proposal suggested by Middle Thames has been adopted as the preferred option.