Rising waters threaten London
Thursday 18 March 1999
Fifty boreholes, costing between pounds 15m and pounds 20m, will extract 70 million litres of water a day in a bid to bring down the water table which is rising by up to three metres every year.
The scheme was unveiled yesterday by Thames Water on behalf of a group of organisations which includes the Environment Agency, the Association of British Insurers, BT and London Underground.
If nothing is done, the foundations of some of the capital's tallest office blocks could be affected by rising water levels within a decade. The water level is now only 40 metres beneath Trafalgar Square.
The borehole plan could be replicated in other cities in the United Kingdom, including Birmingham and Manchester.
Bill Alexander, chief executive of Thames Water, said: "There is no time to waste. Though the rising groundwater threat in London is the most immediate, it is a problem affecting other cities in Britain and around the world, so we can lead the way for others to follow."
From the mid-19th century onwards the water table in London fell by more than 90 metres as industries extracted their own water. Since the demise of brewing and engineering firms in the capital, water levels have risen substantially.
The plan to combat the problem will be implemented over the next five years.
A borehole is planned for the Millennium Dome in Greenwich where rising groundwater would be used to flush the toilets. Other boreholes have already opened at Streatham and Merton and work has started at Islington, Battersea and Brixton.
Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established media firm based in Surrey is ...
£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...
£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...
£30000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small technology business ...