I know the following information is from late April (I misplaced the information on how to update the website!). However, I thought you still may be interested to read it. Guy Mawle shared the following information with UFA:
Although there have been more restrictive abstraction licences for DCWW (Dwr Cymru Welsh Water) since 2017, there is no legal requirement to provide the agreed environmental releases, which remain voluntary. As yet, there have been no such releases, perhaps understandable while DCWW has upgraded its infrastructure.
As we have had another dry spring, Guy asked DCWW if they would consider releases from the upland reservoirs to boost flows through the river and/or a period of no abstraction at Prioress Mill. The main aims would be to help the smolts migrate to sea and to reduce the build up of sediment and algae on the river bed, as happened last year and is happening again in the lower reaches at least.
Richard Allen, DCWW, responded:
'We are planning to shutdown Prioress Mill for a 40 day period from 22nd April, barring any unforeseen engineering hold ups. This means the pumping station will not be abstracting from the river over the period that you are interested in. Hopefully this will provide some benefit.
With regard to additional regulation releases later on in the year, it is still too early to say what may happen, however if the dry weather continues for an extended period we will obviously consider making releases up to the 50 ML/d that we are licensed to.'
Abstraction at these flows would be small now so the benefit isn't great, though any extra flow is welcome. If we get a spate during the next 40 days, that should also be left unabstracted which will help a bit more, boosting the flow from Usk to the tide by up to 10 percent. It is disappointing that there are still no plans for environmental releases, from Talybont Reservoir at least now that it has new valves fitted.