Loch Oich Reservoir

Stage 1 works to ensure the integrity of the embankments of Loch Oich Reservoir on the Caledonian Canal got underway in 2018/2019 with further flood prevention surveys planned for 2021.

The Caledonian Canal is one of the Highlands most popular visitor attractions with over 1,400 boats transiting the canal each year.

A canal is normally provided with a water supply by means of reservoirs and feeder channels, however the Caledonian Canal is unusual in that the lochs that are its reservoirs also form part of the waterway itself, with weirs and sluices controlling the water levels.

As part of our statutory obligations as reservoir owners, works are being undertaken to safeguard the integrity of Loch Oich Reservoir and manage risk to the wider public and downstream.  The project, which began in 2018, involves infilling hollows in the downstream slope of the canal embankment, a survey of and localised widening and raising of flood banks, and a review of the flood assessment for this reservoir. The planned studies and repair of flood banks are required to ensure that the earth embankments can withstand extreme floods.

Update November 2020

Minor flood works were undertaken by Mackenzie Construction at Aberchalder and Cullochy in September 2020. In addition, Aecom are working on a flood review for Loch Oich reservoir to check flood levels for a 1 in 1,000 year flood event. As part of this, river cross-sections surveys will be conducted this financial year.

Update April 2020

Flood Risk Assessment stage one has been completed by Aecom, with further flood work to be carried out in 2020. Following this further work, the flood bank crest will be raised to ensure upmost public safety is upheld.

Update October 2018

The removal of the low weir behind Cullochy Bothy and vegetation at the embankment next to Cullochy Lock has been carried out by Scottish Canals staff. A survey of the canal flood banks crest was carried out by Zenith Surveying during the summer, with a Stage 1 Flood Study being awarded to Aecom in October.

This page will be updated as works progress.