Environment Agency (EA) has announced that dredging on small areas
of the River Parrett in Somerset will begin in
March. They have also floated multifarious plans for future ‘soft’
flood defences that are all designed to slow the movement of water
from upland areas that contribute to lowland flooding.
part of these plans, the engineers have mooted the idea that dredging
rivers only contributes to moving water faster to flooded areas.
On some of England’s rivers that is undoubtedly the case but
the Somerset Levels and Moors have to be treated as a special case.
Somerset is essentially a big basin that can fill up with water
and the Parrett and Brue (along with the man-made drains) are the
only way to get water into the Bristol Channel. They have to work
efficiently to utilise fully the seven hours every day of low tide
and need to be dredged at least to the middle of the Moors.