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Low Water Levels Advisory For Ireland's Inland Navigations

18th July 2014
Low Water Levels Advisory For Ireland's Inland Navigations

#InlandWaters - Despite the threat of floods amid the current weather warning, the recent extended period of dry weather has meant that water levels in Ireland's navigable inland waterways are lower than normal for this time of year.

Where water levels fall below normal summer levels, Waterways Ireland says masters should be aware that their vessels may be at risk of grounding, particularly deep drafted vessels.

To reduce this risk, masters should navigate where possible on or near the centreline of the channel and also avoid short cutting in dog-legged channels and navigating too close to navigation markers.

Proceeding at a slow speed will also reduce 'squat' effect, ie where the vessel tends to sit lower in the water as a consequence of higher speed.

Low water levels will also impact on slipways, with reduced slipway length available under the water surface and the possibility of launching trailers dropping off the end of the concrete apron onto the river/lake bed and causing damage to trailer, outboard motor or boat.

More slipway surface will also be susceptible to weed growth requiring care while engaged in launching boats.

Very dry riverbanks are more susceptible to erosion from vessel wash. Waterways Ireland asks masters to ensure they adhere to the speed limits and maintain a reduced wash.

Where appropriate by maximising on the number of vessels in a lock the total volume of water moving downstream is decreased. This also reduces the volume of water used.

Waterways Ireland asks users to be patient and wait for other boaters to share the lock rather than using locks for single passages.

Masters are also requested to make sure lock cycles are used for vessels travelling each way. Each lock cycle should take boats both up and down stream. All sluice gates and paddles should be shut when leaving a lock.

In addition, masters are reminded not to leave taps running at watering points or service blocks in the interest of water conservation.

Published in Inland Waterways
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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