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28 October 2014

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You are in: Devon > Nature > Nature Features > Salmon saved by extra water

Roadford Reservoir

Roadford Reservoir

Salmon saved by extra water

A Devon reservoir has released millions of litres of water to keep fish healthy in the heatwave.

South West Water is releasing millions of litres of water into the River Wolf in Devon to keep salmon healthy in the heatwave.

The water company is releasing 19 million litres of water from Devon's Roadford Reservoir every day during the week 24-28 July 2006.

The company says it has done this for the past two years and is advised by the Environment Agency when to act.

The move comes as parts of England face their worst drought for 30 years, leading several water companies to bring in hosepipe bans.

Fish deaths fear

SWW says the releases are normally made when high tides coincide with very hot weather.

Salmon leaping

Salmon leaping

At such times oxygen levels in the estuary decline to dangerously low levels for salmon, which often results in deaths.

Making releases from the reservoir ahead of the high tide encourages salmon to migrate upstream into the river and safety.

Roadford is one of South West Water's five main reservoirs and is currently more than 70% full, with about 34 billion litres of water.

Sutton and East Surrey Water was the first English water company to impose a hose pipe ban in May.

It gets most of its water from underground aquifers which have been diminished by two winters of exceptionally low rainfall.

Sutton and East Surrey spokeswoman Liz Thorne said: "If only we had the same resources as you, but unfortunately life is not like that.

"It's not envy, just a fact of life."

last updated: 22/02/2008 at 10:27
created: 24/07/2006

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