Having read all about the severe drought expected in Southern England this summer. And in fact the drought is already there and in winter which is quite unusual (dates such as 1976 and 1911 are being bandied around) I was attending the large hydro project team meeting at Hafod y Llan this morning and drought was the last thing on our mind. The land is so wet and rain so heavy i was focusing on my ability to leave the valley as all the roads were flooding quite badly.
Water availability, climate change and hydro viability are quite high on our risk register for our hydros. Will we have the same volume of water, will it come as regularly as it does today, how will it change and how will this impact the payback on any investment? Also bigger lumps of water are making us think about the durability of any structures we build such as the main weir point. If you read all the papers and listened to the news then i think you would be worried. But if you were in the Nantgwynant valley this morning and saw all of the hydro juice floating by you would be ok. It’s the unpredictability of what’s to come which is a bit unnerving. we have worked on modeling future water availability in the catchments we are working in but at best they are well-informed guesses. Time will tell and we will react accordingly. But one thing is clear…we don’t have to worry about a hose pipe ban in Snowdonia! (at the moment)