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A Grand idea


Michael McNamara dismissed the idea of a water grid (NCE 7 September) as uneconomic, advocating instead links between rivers. But water redistribution between the wet north/west and dry south/east is not a new idea.

The 1942 Grand Contour Canal at a 340ft (103m) level was an attempt to add freight transport to spread the costs, and give faster lockless transits between the north and south.

Today this would not relieve war ravaged railways, but the M1 and M6.

The south of England is also short of electricity-generating capacity. Water transported by the Grand Contour Canal could be used at strategic hydro electric stations, with a 60m head.

The income from electricity generation would also help to subsidise water transfer.

Professor Lewis Lesley, technical director, TRAM Power, Unit 4 Carraway Road, Liverpool L11 OEE

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