No barrage can prevent deluges

DEREK Kraft has misunderstood the points which I made in my letter of March 5.

DEREK Kraft has misunderstood the points which I made in my letter of March 5. Obviously, no barrage can prevent deluges of heavy rain, and I did not suggest that one could, but a barrage can lead to flooding caused by heavy rain upstream of that barrage.

I am told that a barrage from Brean to Lavernock would indeed increase the dangers of flooding upstream.

Downstream of a barrage from Brean to Lavernock the threat to Bridgwater and the Somerset Levels would be greatly increased, because sea surges would have nowhere else to go. With average sea levels now expected to rise by a metre, rather than the 60 centimetres previously thought, the Brean to Lavernock barrage is probably ruled out.

A longer barrage from Minehead to Aberthaw would produce more electricity. It would also offer protection from the kind of sea surge which the Brean to Lavernock barrage would make worse. The Minehead to Aberthaw barrage has already been ruled out by the group examining the proposals on behalf of the Government.

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Derek has a mistaken notion of the Zuider Zee, where a shallow salt water inlet was turned into a fresh water lake, the IJsel Meer. The Severn has an estuary facing the Atlantic. The two are entirely different. The Zuider Zee was dammed with boulder clay. That could not be done across the Severn. The clay would be washed out to sea as quickly as it was put there.


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