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Some physical and economic aspects of water use in the wear basin

Kirby, D. A. (1968) Some physical and economic aspects of water use in the wear basin. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



The thesis analyses the changing pattern of water utilication within the wear catchment over the historic period. First the evolution and present characteristics of the surface water system are examined. River discharge over the period May 1965 – September 1967 was measured by the erection of a gauging station at the Abbey weir. Durham, and rainfall records, kept over the same period were applied to the computed results. Secondly the use of these ater resources is considered, before 1830 water power was widespread and used as a prine mover in many aspects of a productive economy. Water supply was organised on a local and family basis, and although the drainage functions of atercoures were ubiquitous, the low density of population had little effect on the quality of river water. After 1830 water power declined and water supply began to be organised on a community basis, with abstraction from one plant on a local stream an the distribution extended until the unit of supply became a statutory aea and contained many communities. The drainage function of watercourses became more important with the development of urban communities, and the extension of shaft mining for coal and lead. Since 1945 water power has almost disappeared. Water supply is being though of in regional terms, and the role of the wear has been reduced. The drainage function of atercourses remains important, although effluents must now maintain a high degree of purity consequent on the increasing use of watercourses as an arenity. This has always been of some importance’s, with angling remembered since the days of the “Lambton Worn” and pleasure boasting since the late seventeenth century.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1968
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:13 Nov 2013 16:20

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