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The Mersey Orange has just inspired me to open a new thread that I have been thinking about for some time.

It is received wisdom that it is the Mersey that shapes what is distinct about Liverpool, but we have lost a lot of those direct links now. So how do we utilise the river in future to help grow a sustainable existence on the river?

There are many forms of energy production, ecologial potential, fisheries anyone (keep Garcia from moving on)?

How do we build up its potential for leisure, transport and tourism?

How do we use the river, estualry and Bay to tie together a wider area of economic and cultural wellbeing?

How can we integrate water, housing and environment?

Can we ever utilise the growing port to regalvanise serious growth in the commercial and banking arena as we did in the past... and Hong Kong and NYC still retain to the present day?

Could we expand water based transport weblike as we have discussed ecapnding Merseyrail?... hydrofoils to Llandudno no less!

And to start off, what about the Mersey Barrage? it was Mersey Orange's comments on the docks thread that led me to start this thread so what do people think of the idea?

No expertise what so ever, my gut instinct is, despite the 'obvious' problems of silting etc, it would have worked and reviving it may be an option? The are people on this forum actually qualified to give an insight into this so would you please contribute?

What is the future for us as a maritime city and how can we find new ways of using the river as a resource?
 

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With global warming, Liverpool will need better defences from the sea. The Pier Head has flooded before (I think back in the 1980s on one occasion) and if sea levels rise several feet, imagine the volume and force of additional water that will be pummelling the Dock walls.

So, maybe some kind of closure of the River would make sense - round about where Brocklebank Dock is or somewhere like that, so some of the major dock entrances are in the sea?

I suppose the barrier would need a lock or two to take in ships - big enough for the visiting liners and oil tankers (which I suppose means a pretty big lock system), and electricity could be generated when the tide is flowing out (or in as well?). A bridge of some sort could be put on top. (Or, if the costs are too high, let the oil go elsehwere, and let the cruise boats moor upriver, say at Seaforth?)

I can imagine that this would have a major impact on the mudflats and areas used by wading birds in the estuary, but, once done, and with the river no longer tidal (although I suppose it would be semi-tidal as you'd have to let water in to get the electricity generated and keep the basin of the estuary from silting) then such issues as extending the runway into the mud flats would be a lot easier and cheaper. The river might become better for leisure sailing, and so could lead to more use.

The only reason I can see for doing something is environmental - the sea basically hammers the Wirral and Lancashire coasts, and if its gets higher and stronger, I wonder how central Liverpool will survive it in say 50 years time. I think a barrage would be a very long term project, would probably take 10 years or so for public enquiries, another 10 years for dicking about, and 10 years to build? By then, the water might be lapping at peoples feet on the Pier Head, a bit like St Marks Square in Venice during the high spring tides.
 

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I did some work on the early proposals for the Mersey Barrage and the thing only really made economic sense was if you gave credit to economic value created by another Mersey crossing (soon to be provided by the new bridge) and having a contained body of water - bascially making the upper reaches of the Mersey into a lake. I think the site was from around Herculaneum Dock. The value of the energy created doesnt cut it.

I also worked with a group called Liverpool Common Purpose who were a mixture of public, private and voluntary sector people who came together to examine issues round the future of Liverpool and one of those issues at the time was The Mersey Barrage (this was the 1980s) . We did an unfofoical vote at the end of the exercise and decided that the benefits outweighed the problems (effectively the loss of internationally renowned bird grounds on the mud banks) . I remember it so well because I thought the bloke from the Conservation Agency (or whatever they were called) was going to top himself because we wanted to destroy his ducks ( NOTE - DUCKS not DOCKS - I aint getting into that argument )

JOBS NOT DUCKS - has such a ring to it dont you think ?
 

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Sorry that my first post has to be a negative one - I've been visiting the forum daily for some months, and am always fascinated by the information available here - but I am totally opposed to any sort of barrage across the Mersey. I am passionate about the renewal of Liverpool, but I am also passionate about conservation and green issues, and surely one lesson we should have learned by now is that wildlife matters! We cannot dismiss a major wildlife area such as the Mersey mudflats for the supposed benefits of a barrage. If we can't build a future that respects both nature and the needs of the city then we haven't learned anything over the last few decades.
 

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Welcome Cenric. I think I am on your side really, and apart from the environmental and ethical considerations, the mudflats and birds are a part of the city anyway, and would be a terrible loss. (Cardiff had this discussion, I think). Fortunately, only very little is required for a runway extension. But I am worried about rising sea levels and potential flooding of downtown, where there are a lot of basements, tunnels etc. If you're putting hundreds of people into high rise flats a few feet from the river, you need to know how in 50 years time you will get them out (except by boat) if flooding becomes a regular thing. I read somewhere that sea levels could be 3 feet high then - and I think that means not just 3 feet higher at high tide, but significantly stronger and taller waves and surges.

How about this idea? Drain Birkenhead Docks (yes, sorry, whatever is suggested is going to upset someone) and keep them as a sort of "flood plain" for when the River reaches crisis point? The gates could have sluices in them that could be opened so river water could then pour into them and fill them, as a means of saving central Liverpool. If that is not enough, then should a (raised) seawall be built into designs for the river frontages, and what might that look like? Would a 6 foot high wall along the River in Wallasey be enough?
 

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Renewable energy ..... Renewable City

Welcome Cenric,

I do remember the initial excitement generated by the `Should we have a Mersey Barrage` debate in the 1980`s and quite a lot of money was spent on the investigation of its potential too.

Everything from using it as a `River crossing` - partly to justify it.
The daily tidal range of the mersey being I think the second greatest in Europe - hence the interest and the impounded water creating a massive boating lake(?) and in the eighties very few boats were really expected to really enter the mersey dock system so only a moderate barrage lock was considered necessary.

There was however a great deal of discussion about the impact on the local wildlife and environment plus do the benefits out weigh the disadvantages?

There was also the serious problem of ongoing human and industrial pollution in the mersey basin - hence the ongoing `Mersey Basin Campain` etc.

A great deal has changed since the 1980`s.

Environmentally it would have to be conceeded that a `straight across barrage` impounding the mersey basin isn`t very likely to happen.

Much more likely that `Everton Brow` would get back its windmills in the shape of a new windfarm. Certainly we already have some along the docks and in the Bay and Irish Sea.

Now we also have a more lively `shipping` river once more, from Irish Ferries to the Port of Garston and proposed cruise liner terminal which themselves are increasing in size.

I suspect that if the river can be used for power generation (and it should be possible) it wont be a straight across barrage option and that we will have to be more imaginative catering for all of the various needs including the ongoing protection of habitats.

Going back to the windmills and windfarms, even water wheels are making a come back in various places. Just imagine how much water rushes through canal locks across the UK every day as they open and close.

Collectively it must add up in just the same way as `solar panels` do.
Various office developments now include some sort of solar collection.

and as has been mentioned on this forum before, buildings such as the RSA (Royal Sun Alliance) was way ahead of its time in the way it controls its internal working environment.

of various interest:

http://www.merseybasin.org.uk/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydroelectricity
 

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http://www.liv.ac.uk/~isf1/semsums/sem1sum.html

This is an old paper from 1992, and they didn't realise the full calamity approaching, but it's still interesting reading. This seems to date that Pier Head flooding I mentioned earlier to 1990, and provides an explanation of it.

"Surges and Storms

The effect of strong winds and reduced barometric pressure can give rise to abnormally high sea levels known as storm surges. These surges may increase in frequency and size if the climate increases in storminess. When they coincide with an unusually high tide extreme high water levels occur, as in the North Sea in 1953 and on the North Wales coast in 1990. If surges similar to these recur on top of even a modest rise in average sea level the sea walls round much of the low lying Irish Sea coast will be overtopped much more frequently. Floods which are now expected to occur once in 200 years could occur once in 20 years if the average sea-level rises by 40 cm. On top of these effects there is evidence that the tidal range is itself increasing at a rate which is comparable with the rate of rise of average sea level. Thus the highest level reached by the sea is expected to be increased further".

This is more recent, and mentions Liverpool's predicament:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/story/0,,1738482,00.html

"Half of Greenland and vast areas of Antarctica are destined to melt if global warming continues at the same pace until the end of the century, scientists warned yesterday. Their research shows that the loss of so much ice will trigger dramatic rises in sea levels, ultimately swamping low-lying regions of Essex, Lincolnshire and Norfolk and threatening the flood defences of cities such as London, Liverpool and Bristol....".

:runaway:
 

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Water water every where .....

liverpolitan said:
Welcome Cenric. I think I am on your side really, and apart from the environmental and ethical considerations, the mudflats and birds are a part of the city anyway, and would be a terrible loss. (Cardiff had this discussion, I think). Fortunately, only very little is required for a runway extension. But I am worried about rising sea levels and potential flooding of downtown, where there are a lot of basements, tunnels etc. If you're putting hundreds of people into high rise flats a few feet from the river, you need to know how in 50 years time you will get them out (except by boat) if flooding becomes a regular thing. I read somewhere that sea levels could be 3 feet high then - and I think that means not just 3 feet higher at high tide, but significantly stronger and taller waves and surges.

How about this idea? Drain Birkenhead Docks (yes, sorry, whatever is suggested is going to upset someone) and keep them as a sort of "flood plain" for when the River reaches crisis point? The gates could have sluices in them that could be opened so river water could then pour into them and fill them, as a means of saving central Liverpool. If that is not enough, then should a (raised) seawall be built into designs for the river frontages, and what might that look like? Would a 6 foot high wall along the River in Wallasey be enough?
Poli,

See this - http://cobs.pol.ac.uk/

The problem of flooding is of greater importance to the Wirral as I believe that if the sea defences were to be significantly breached in somewhere like Morton then floods could reach as far as Bidston Moss etc due to the fact(?) that areas of the Wirral are below sea level? (I read that somewhere some years ago)

Probably one of the reasons why the Wirral has such a formidable promanade - eleven miles in length.

This will be of interest,

http://www.liv.ac.uk/physocean/

I visited the `Proudman Oceanographic department` some years ago when it was still located around the `Bidston Observatory` - excellent and totally fascinating and a great pity that it was sought necessary to move it from the Wirral to Liverpool. (Something to do with funding.....if I remember correctly.)

http://www.pol.ac.uk/home/
http://www.pol.ac.uk/appl/met.html
http://www.pol.ac.uk/home/history.html

Utterly fascinating.....
 

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Does anyone know how the proposed development of the Seaforth Docks will impact on tidal flow, silting etc? Aesthetically I'm againt the idea of a barrage across the Mersey, I want to see an ongoing expanse of never ending water. I want my imagination to sail over it and not be curtailed by some concrete barrier. I want to see **** off cruise liners heading towards the Pier Head from way out in the Bay. Don't want to see them being squeezed through a lock. The problem is Birkenhead! The Mersey will remain a shadow of its former self until that clapped out old scrubber gets her war paint on in the form of full on development of her waterfront. I can't believe that just over thirty years ago that ferries were departing evey 15-20 minutes to Woodside and and with a similar frequency to Secombe throughout the day. Take it back 40 years and there's a half hourly service to New Brighton. Until 'over the water' regains at least some of its former glory, Liverpool will fail to to fulfill its true potential as a full on river city.
 

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Thanks for your welcome liverpolitan and Pietari. I hadn't realised the scale of developments in Liverpool until I stumbled across SCC site last year, then I started looking around the city and was knocked out by the sheer amount of renewal taking place. If I can work out how to post images I'll put up some of the photos I've taken recently.
 

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cenric said:
If I can work out how to post images I'll put up some of the photos I've taken recently.
Great! We need more photos.

I have been using imageshack. It's free and really quick to use. You upload your picture to there (not here), then paste the link into here, and it's done....There is a "test" site on SSC as well if you just want to mess about until you have got things working, i'll find a link to it.

There's other free photo hosting sites if you dont like imageshack.

http://imageshack.us/


Here is the "test" site where you can try out posting pictures.

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=88
 

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liverpolitan said:
"Surges and Storms

The effect of strong winds and reduced barometric pressure can give rise to abnormally high sea levels known as storm surges. These surges may increase in frequency and size if the climate increases in storminess. When they coincide with an unusually high tide extreme high water levels occur, as in the North Sea in 1953 and on the North Wales coast in 1990.
As the Thames barrier, the Mersey barrage is essential. The Mersey barrage can be of much more use than the Thames barrier, although which can dam in the Thames at weekends for leisure craft.

In 1989, when two ships collided the barier was lowered within minutes to stop the strong tide.
 

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Liverpool8 said:
Does anyone know how the proposed development of the Seaforth Docks will impact on tidal flow, silting etc?
None. A deeper channel at the side of the sea wall is being dedged.

The problem is Birkenhead! The Mersey will remain a shadow of its former self until that clapped out old scrubber gets her war paint on in the form of full on development of her waterfront.
As Birkenhead Docks run 4 miles inland with little river frontage, the developments would be inland rather than waterfront.
 

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Pietari said:
The problem of flooding is of greater importance to the Wirral as I believe that if the sea defences were to be significantly breached in somewhere like Morton then floods could reach as far as Bidston Moss etc due to the fact(?) that areas of the Wirral are below sea level? (I read that somewhere some years ago)
There was, around 100 years ago or more, a proposal to run Birkenhead Dock through Bidston Moss and up to Moreton. Ships then could enter via Liverpool bay. The low level of the area would create the basin/dock areas. In the early 1800s, William Laird wanted to take The Docks over to the Dee.
 

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LABlue said:
I did some work on the early proposals for the Mersey Barrage and the thing only really made economic sense was if you gave credit to economic value created by another Mersey crossing (soon to be provided by the new bridge)
The new bridge is effectively a widening of the existing Runcorn bridge which was proven inadeqaute a few years after being built. The problems at the mouth of the river are not addressed by this bridge.
 

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Dirty old dregers and modern tugs get my vote anyday. :)
 

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Bananas.....

Hee hee heee.....regarding `Old Dredgers`

News flash:

Venice gets 65,000,000 (65m) visitors a year.....BBC news report regarding allowing EU workers to work across UK borders.

We get a Polish Shop in Wavertree.....and very welcome it is!

Long live LJLA .....

Second BBC news flash:

Dead Sea - Dying (lowest place on earth) and has shrunk by one third in size.
Water lever dropping by one meter a year due to the `River Jordan` being diverted.....to grow bananas etc in the desert.

:eek2:
 

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Pietari said:
Second BBC news flash:

Dead Sea - Dying (lowest place on earth) and has shrunk by one third in size.
Water lever dropping by one meter a year due to the `River Jordan` being diverted.....to grow bananas etc in the desert.
The Israelis are proposing to dig a canal from the Med to the Dead Sea to maintain water levels. The canal can also be used for boats too. One option for the original Suez Canal was a canal through Aquaba the Dead Sea and to the Med. The Dead Sea would be filled to sea level.

There is also a plan to take ships to Elait creating another Med -Red Sea link, using locks in and out of the Dead Sea.
 
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