Normally, a shallow, fast-flowing river, White Cart Water near Glasgow is prone to flash-flooding and water levels can rise by 6m after only 12 hours of rain. Since 1908 it has inflicted more than 20 serious floods on homes and other properties in the city's south side, including an event in 1984 that flooded more than 500 homes.
The White Cart Flooding Project has three main elements, that have been delivered by three contract phases of work.
Contract 1 - upstream catchment management through the construction of three flood storage areas upstream of the city (at Blackhouse (Earn Water), Kirkland Bridge (White Cart Water) and Kittoch Bridge (Kittoch Water)) to temporarily hold back the bulk of floodwater generated by extreme rainfall and control the release of water passing downstream through the city to an acceptable level. The three flood storage areas hold back circa 2,600,000m3 of water using what were, at the time of construction, the largest hydrobrakes in the world.
Contract 2 - although during the storm, the temporary storage areas will significantly reduce the flow downstream, this much reduced flow, combined with the large catchment area downstream of the flood storage areas would still pose a threat and be capable of causing flooding in Glasgow. For this reason, flood defences, in the form of low walls and embankments along sections of the White Cart Water and Auldhouse Burn, have also been constructed in selected parts of the river corridor through the city.
Contract 1 & 2 were completed in 2011. Total cost was circa £50M.
Further information on these contracts is available here.
Contract 3 - has provided a further 1,400m of additional flood defence wall and two new protective pumping stations along the White Cart Water and Auldhouse Burn, and was completed in 2019. Total cost was circa £9M.
Overall, the project reduces risk to approximately 1,850 properties / businesses and roads in the south of Glasgow.