CONTRACTORS ARE to start work next week on a weir to boost the storage capacity of Lake Ullswater in Cumbria.
United Utilities is building the weir after winning government permission to increase the amount of water it takes from Lake Ullswater and nearby Lake Windermere.
Water reserves have fallen due to last year's dry autumn weather (NCE 20 November).
Three drought permits issued by the Environment Agency allow United Utilities to pump an additional 205,000m 3per day from Windermere and 363,000m 3per day from Ullswater, provided flows in the adjacent Rivers Eamont and Leven remain above 91,000m 3per day.
The extra water will be used to supply customers in Greater Manchester.
The temporary weir will stand at Pooley Bridge, between Lake Ullswater and the mouth of the River Eamont.
Standing only 150mm high, it will stretch 30m across the mouth of the river, increasing the lake's storage capacity by 1.3M. m 3. 'It has two purposes: to increase the capacity of water in the reservoir for release into supply; and to give extra capacity to discharge into the River Eamont to help the fish when flows in the river are low, ' said a United Utilities spokeswoman.