London Water Supply
The fact that an even greater drain on the water of the Thames than at present will be necessary in the near future for the supply of London is the most interesting point in the annual report of the metropolitan water board, just to hand. The report states that the board’s sources of supply continue to be four in number, namely:—1. river Thames and Lea. (The name of the river is spelled “Lee” throughout the report). 2. Gravel beds adjoining the main stream of the Thames and other gravel beds at Hanworth. 3. Natural springs. 4. Wells sunk in the chalk of other strata in the Lea valley on the north’ of the Thames, in Kent, and at certain other points south of the Thames. The Thames furnished 58.61 per cent, of the board’s total supply (direct area and in bulk), as compared with 58.19 per cent, last year. No alteration was made during the year in the powers of the board to abstract the water from the river Thames. The daily average quantity guage at Teddington was 1,137.5 million gallons, a decrease of 1.7 million gallons compared with 1909 to. The daily average total abstraction from the river was 130.9 million gallons. The daily average natural flow at Teddington was therefore 1,574.4 million gallons during the year, compared with 1,681.2 million gallons in 1909-10 The. total volume abstracted from the river was 49,962.9 million gallons or 321.6 million gallons more than last year. There was, compared with last year, an increased average daily abstraction from the river of 900,000 gallons. Of the 136.9 million gallons daily average quantity abstracted by the water board and the suburban companies, the water board abstracted 134.5 and the suburban companies 2.4 million gallons. The percentage of natural flow abstracted by the water board was 8.54 and by the two suburban water companies. 15, of 8.09 per cent, compared with the total abstraction last year of 8.60 per cent. With regard to the future, the report states that it has been recognized that both the river Lea and the wells as sources of supply are approaching their limit of maximun yield, so that the Thames becomes the only available existing source capable of expansion. The board has accordingly for the past two or three years been in negotiation with the Thames conservancy with a view to coming to some agreement as to the conditions under which additional powers of abstraction should be obtained from parliament for future supply. These negotiations have been interrupted by litigation between the two bodies; but the conservancy and water board have always had in view the desirability of arriving at some amicable arrangement, which would dispose of the complicated points on dispute, provided for the future abstraction of water, and settle the matter of payment therefore to the Thames conservancy. After renewed negotiations, in the course of which invaluable assistance was rendered to the conservancy and the board by the Honorable T. H. W. Pelham. C. B. (assistant secretary of the board of trade) and F. J. Willis, assistant secretary to the local government board, an agreement was arrived at and embodied in clauses in the Thames conservancy bill promoted in the session of 1911.—London Standard.