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It is probable that sometime within the next few years the Thames will experience a severe drought. When it does so London will face a serious water shortage, since the major part of London's water... supply is abstracted from the Thames. This programme shows what the Thames Water Authority are doing about it. The plan is to pump water out of the Chalk in the Berkshire and Marlborough Downs, and from the Chilterns, and to put it directly into the tributaries, to keep them and the Thames flowing. But such an idea required a great deal of investigation before it was proved feasible. John Wright, Reader in Earth Sciences, discusses hydrological theory for the ground-water scheme, and describes the Lambourn Valley Pilot Scheme in some detail. Other speakers include Brian Hardcastle, Manager of the Thames Conservancy Division, Vin Robinson, a geophysicist working on the scheme, and Colin Hanson, a hydrologist who has built an analogue model to simulate the behaviour of ground water and river flow in the Thames Catchment Area.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Item code: S26-; 10
First transmission date: 15-06-1974
Published: 1974
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:27
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Producer: Peter Clark
Contributors: C. M.(Colin M.) Hanson; Brian Hardcastle; Vin Robinson; John Wright
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Lambourn Valley pilot scheme; Thames Water Authority
Subject terms: Chalk--England; Drought relief--Developing countries; Thames River (England)--History
Footage description: John Wright with a glass of water and a piece of chalk. He introduces the programme by explaining that both are water reservoirs. Aerial shots of the Thames at Reading and at Teddington Weir. Ground level shots of Teddington Weir. Commentary by Wright explains the importance of the Thames as London's main water supply. Aerial shots of water reservoirs up river from Teddington. John Wright with a large model of the Thames catchment area. He points out the geological features particularly the chalk hills of the ChiItems and Berkshire Downs. Several still shots of chalk hills in the Berkshire Downs. Wright discusses the possibility of extracting water from the chalk in periods of severe drought. Wright and Brian Hardcastle of the Thames Conservancy Division discuss the Lambourn Valley Pilot scheme. They discuss the problems encountered in getting the scheme under way. John Wright with a model of a section of chalk countryside. He uses the model to explain some of the hydrological principles involved in pumping water out of the chalk. Wright dismantles the model step by step as he talks. Net gain to the river of pumping under various conditions is shown on an animated graph. Shots of a map of the Lambourn Valley and also of some of the geography. The map shows the location of bore holes used for the pilot scheme. Commentary by John Wright. Shots of some of the pumping and ground water recording station. Shots of a gauging station on the Lambourn which monitored the flow of the river during the pilot scheme. Wright with the discharge hydrograph for the River Lambourn. He points out its various features - seasonal fluctuation, etc. Shot of a map of the pilot scheme area showing contours of water level after 6 months of pumping. Wright with a simplified hydrograph of the area for 1969, shows and explains the effect of pumping during a drought period. The hydrograph indicates both the result of pumping and also what would have happened if pumping had not been done. Vin Robinson, a geophysicist, shows some of the equipment which is used to indicate the levels at which water is flowing into the borehole. He shows how it works and explains the data which it gives. Shots of the inside of two boreholes above and below waterlevel taken by a TV camera lowered into the hole. Robinson explains what is looked for with this camera. John Wright with the electronic analogue model which simulates the behaviour of ground water and river flow in the Thames Catchment Area. He explains how the model works and then demonstrates. Colin Hansen who developed the analogue model, compares the results obtained by the pilot scheme with that predicted by the model. He goes in to explain how the predictive powers of the model can be used. John Wright, using the geological model of the Thames Catchment area sums up the programme.
Master spool number: 6HT/71463
Production number: 00525_1010
Videofinder number: 2793
Available to public: no