WATER shortages have led to Severn Trent Water pumping supplies nine miles away from the River Leam into Draycote Water.
The company will move around a million litres a day into the reservoir. The £500,000 investment is being made in response to record low rainfall over the winter, which has left parts of the Midlands in drought.
In some areas of south-east England groundwater levels are lower than in the infamously dry summer of 1976, with water companies ready to bring in hosepipe bans from early spring.
Marcus O’Kane, Severn Trent’s water resources manager, explained: “We are doing everything possible to avoid restrictions for our customers this year.
“Over the last six months we have focused on moving raw water supplies across our water grid from the wetter west to the drier east to balance out regional supplies.
“Dozens of individual measures are being taken to ensure our customers do not face any usage restrictions this year, including the scheme at Draycote.”
The work going on at the reservoir will not affect visiting hours.
Kate Vickers, water production manager added: “The scheme at Draycote is designed to refill the reservoir ready for the coming year. At the moment the reservoir has been effectively switched off and customers in the area are being supplied from Meriden. To get water back into the reservoir one of the things we are doing is using a new pipe to take water, when river levels are high enough to allow, out of the River Leam at Willes Meadow, near Leamington, and pump it up to Draycote.”
“We will be able to pump up to a maximum of 12.5 million litres a day into Draycote, but our average amount of water will be around 10 million litres a day.
The majority of the length will use an existing pipe which normally takes water in the opposite direction from Draycote to Leamington, but the company will be reversing the flow along it. The last 800 metres is a new pipe which is currently being laid overland on site at Draycote to take water into the reservoir inlet.