Ertach Kernow - Blog Plus

Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink - 26th October 2022

Although Cornwall's virtually totally surrounded by water, by way of our long coastline and forgetting the political tragedy at Westminster there are somewhat worrying times here for the Cornish residential population. Whilst developers and builders have been frenziedly building and the population of Cornwall growing ever larger, through people coming from England, has any thought been given generally to large scale water infrastructure? Population numbers have no doubt been offset by many Cornish folk leaving Cornwall as they are unable to buy, rent or afford a home where their families have often lived for countless generations. Yes, we have some new schools being built and an extension to Treliske Hospital, but what about water.

South West Water put a plan together back in 2006/2008 with two new water storage sites at Park and Stannon on Bodmin Moor, former china clay pits. What about the future with uncertainty about water supplies due to climate change and the ever-growing population egged on by continuous house building and profiteering and encouraged by Cornwall Council. Is there a plan and who will pay for it?

In May Ertach Kernow (Cornwall Heritage) wrote an article for the Voice newspapers about Cornwall’s water supplies and its reservoirs. The question was then; ‘With another deluge of tourists about to descend on Cornwall, with mixed feelings from many residents, the question is will we have sufficient water this summer should it turn out to be especially dry?’ The question is now, will we have enough for ourselves and what about future water resources? Will huge new reservoirs need to be built at the expense of farmland. heritage sites, environment and possibly small communities?

As I write the levels of Cornish reservoirs are a total of 17.5% full, with Cornwall's two largest Colliford (28,540 million litres) and Stithians (4,967 ml) at just 15.3% and 13.8% full, respectively. Of a total 40,736 million litres reported the current storage across largest reservoirs just 7,154 million litres are available, and this has fallen by 867 million litres in the past 14 days. This is not peak holiday season, and we are entering winter when rainfall should be plentiful. Will it be enough for Cornwall’s resident population and what will be the situation as more people move to Cornwall and next year's tourist season gets underway?

Read the Ertach Kernow article from early May about Cornwall's reservoirs (Click link below)

View over Colliford Lake (full)

Contrast these with the images taken on 23rd October 2022 and the gradual receding of the water two months previously on 29th August 2022.

Shoreline and across Colliford Lake
Colliford Lake 29th August 2022
Colliford Lake 23.10.22 - With only 4,366 of 28,540 million litres