The water at Bewl is a great asset but also our greatest adversary. It is a large stretch of deep open water with no visible current. There are submerged hazards that are not necessarily obvious or marked, or which appear when the water level drops. There are floating hazards in the form of buoys and flotsam off the trees and rivers feeding the reservoir.
Local weather conditions can change very rapidly. A shift in the direction and or strength of the wind can occur in a matter of minutes, creating conditions unsuitable for rowing.
These all pose specific risks for the unwary rower and cox.It is therefore vital to observe the Water Assessment Code, which is in the form of a table based on the appearance of the water and ranking of the crew. The table shows the risks associated with each water state. Traffic Light Symbols are used to show the practical application of the Water Assessment Code, in terms of restrictions.
BEFORE ANY BOATS ARE LAUNCHED a Senior (over 18) Experienced Member of BBRC (at least 3 years rowing experience and well versed in the conditions experienced at Bewl Water), must undertake a water assessment.
Once the Senior Experienced Member has decided which Traffic Light Symbol is appropriate, he or she must:
Enter the details in the water assessment log, which is a white board on the back of the boathouse door;
Enter the details as the first entry in the signing out book for the day;
Turn the water assessment dial, also on the back of the boathouse door, so that it shows the correct Traffic Light Symbol; and
Help ensure that members who might be restricted from rowing because of the water assessment are aware of the restriction.
It is important that, if conditions change and particularly if they deteriorate, a fresh water assessment is made and the logs and dial are updated accordingly.If the fresh assessment results in more restrictions, it may be necessary to call in crews from the reservoir.