I said recently that the water level on Lough Derg was low, as a result of a dry winter. Barge Hawthorn now reports that the weir at Clondra (Cloondara) is dry and Waterways Ireland has now issued a Marine Notice (23/2012: not yet on the WI website, but it may be there by the time you check) saying:

Waterways Ireland wishes to advise all masters and users of the Erne System that following a period of dry weather the water levels on Lower Lough Erne are below those normally experienced at this time of year.

WI Conver weed boat (and dinghy) in dry dock at Shannon Harbour

Reliable and authoritative sources tell me that the water levels in themselves are not the only problem. The dry, warm winter is likely to encourage the growth of weed, especially on the shallower waterways, including the canals and Upper Lough Erne. It seems that chemical methods can no longer be used so mechanical cutting and harvesting is the only method available. That means machinery and manpower. And with reduced resources, it’s going to be hard to keep the weeds down.

It may be wise to practise a rain dance.

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