Briefing Note: Dredging
This briefing note sets out The Inland Waterways Association’s views on dredging. Along with other essential maintenance to the inland waterways, IWA considers that dredging navigable waterways to a sufficient depth is an important function of navigation authorities.
There are many sections of waterway around the country that IWA considers are in urgent need of dredging, simply due to dredging not having been carried out for many years. Navigation authorities should prioritise funding so the backlog of dredging can be undertaken.
There are also places that require dredging regularly, for example after the winter floods where silt gets washed in by rivers and streams. These should be included and budgeted for in navigation authorities’ programme of works on an annual basis.
Background and Current Situation
Whilst IWA welcomed the announcement by Canal & River Trust in November 2012 that it would increase spending on dredging over the next ten years, IWA is concerned that there remain certain waterways that are now so silted that boaters are experiencing significant difficulties. There have been recent reports of boaters choosing not to visit, or not to continue along the whole length, of certain waterways, such as the Caldon Canal, due to the lack of navigable depth of water.
[The photo shows dredging on the Ribble Link]