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The Jubilee River story (0948m) -
Thames Flood Events - Jan/Feb 2014
There is no denying that it was very wet for a long period of
time but.............. my brief report compiled in March and amended 10 June 2014 is reproduced below.
The truth is that the EA operated the Taplow Flow Control
Structure at the inlet to the Jubilee River at all hours of the day and night.
Many of the gate movements occurred around midnight,
the gates were finally left wide open (right out of the water) and the gate movement and flow records are
River level gauging is unreliable and the
variation in datum and range between adjacent gauge hydrographs leaves the
information open to misinterpretation. The truth is that the EA has manipulated
the presentation of the water levels in order to visually attenuate the graph
and mask the magnitude of the variations.
Significant structural damage to the Jubilee River was still
being repaired in November 2014.
There is much that can be done to reduce the probability of
flooding but my guess is that as in 2003 and in 2007 nothing will happen.
Assurances from the Prime Minister and others given in February
2014 have already been forgotten!
As for dredging - this is splendid example of
polotics (the practice of kicking alternative
policies around indefinitely in the hope that the problem will eventually go
away). The EA has no legal duty to dredge for conveyance purposes!
For a really interesting assessment you can click on the
following external link to read Simon Walters Mail online report
'The Wrath of Wraysbury'
Lessons to be learned - Flood
events - downstream of Windsor
– January and February 2014.
(Brief notes including the way
forward and some supporting evidence
- compiled by Ewan Larcombe –
Amended 10 June 2014).
FRAG Report 2004
- The lessons learned from the 2003 flood event and in particular the
recommendations from Clive Onions 2004 FRAG Report were not actioned.
– Repeated calls to reinstate Thames dredging have been deflected or ignored
by the EA. In my opinion the conveyance capacity of the Thames must be
maximised before the sub-standard £256m Lower Thames Scheme is
- Recent recommendations in respect of ordinary watercourse and drainage
ditch maintenance have not been actioned. In addition a variety of local
flood defence improvements have not been actioned and some flood local
defence embankments have been removed.
- In my opinion the Sunday (9th February) morning flood warning
could have been raised earlier. I realised that what was about to happen was
inevitable and I do not understand why the EA left the ‘serious’ warning to
the last moment (Sunday morning).
– The Jubilee River is sub-standard in design, construction, operation and
capacity. There is evidence to demonstrate that adjustment of the flow
control structure at Taplow produces detrimental downstream effects and that
the gates were left wide open for a significant period of time during the
flood event. The magnitude and timing of the gate adjustments are both
crucial and significant. The river level gauging is not only misleading but
also unreliable. There is serious bank damage at Taplow. The Jubilee River
was out-of-banks yet again at Black Potts with additional consequential
damage to the footpath that had not been repaired since the 2012 event and
is still un-repaired.
River level gauging and
hydrographs - The EA on-line river level
system has a number of shortcomings including the unreliability of the
gauges. The variation in datum and range between adjacent gauge hydrographs
leaves the information open to misinterpretation. In particular the precise
numerical data is only available for one hour before being transferred to
- In my opinion there have been some serious errors of judgement. In
particular the Datchet Parish Council and the RBWM decisions to permit the
ten pitch private gypsy site on Green Belt flood plain in Horton Road,
Datchet is as irrational as it is unjustifiable. The application that was
due to be considered at a Public Inquiry in September has been withdrawn and
a new application submitted.
– I am concerned that failure to maintain the ditches and ordinary
watercourses has delayed land drainage after the flood event. Furthermore
gravel pits surcharged with flood water extend both the location and
duration of local groundwater flooding. It should be noted that parts of
Wraysbury were flooded from the first event to the second and are still very
forward and some possible improvements……..
Amend Jubilee River Operating Procedure
(i.e. small daytime movements only together with
Rebuild missing and/or damaged flood banks.
Inspect and maintain land drainage infrastructure.
Inspect and confirm other infrastructure resilience.
Support property level protection scheme.
Take action against the EA quoting HRA 1998 Articles 8
Develop and install small local area flood protection
Resolve Jubilee River gauging, capacity and structural
Improve River Thames conveyance capacity by:-
a) Reinstating Thames dredging.
b) Re-opening (140?) blocked flood arches.
c) Re-engineering weirs and other structures.
Check river Thames levels over time
Improve river level gauging reliability.
Improve EA on-line river level data and hydrograph
Prepare for London flooding.
Only after the River Thames conveyance capacity has been
maximised – consider need for additional parallel channels (i.e. £256m River
Thames Scheme or similar).
Please note that RBWM are currently refusing to make
their ‘partnership funding’ contribution.
supporting evidence …….. Taplow gate movements at
The Windsor Park (Datchet) hydrograph –
with adjusted range and datum that ‘moderates’ the line and hides the Taplow
hydrograph – now you can see the Taplow effect….
Jubilee River – serious bank damage at
Taplow……..big enough to park a bus in?
Jubilee River – all three gates wide open at Taplow……..check out the
centre bay wave form!
Jubilee River upstream of Taplow Flow Control Structure -
April 2015 - Two images -
So what's going on here? Perhaps the EA are reinforcing the
Taplow Mill Leat bed?
For further details please contact
Ewan Larcombe - NFPP – 10 June 2014
Tel: 01753 544302