IT IS often suggested by readers that it would be a good idea to build a barrage across the mouth of the River Usk – to enable small craft to use the river 24/7.
Unfortunately, if such a barrage were built it would have catastrophic consequences for Newport, the Usk Valley and the Gwent Levels. Put simply, a barrage across the mouth of the Usk would prevent the natural transportation of soil carried by the river water to the sea. The mud would, instead, build up on the bed and the banks of the river; eventually causing the river to overflow its banks (particularly after prolonged and heavy rainfall).
However, it might be possible (but would require considerable research and planning) to build a lagoon similar to the one planned in Swansea Bay. A lagoon could allow the level of the river flowing through Newport to be maintained at sufficient height to enable small craft to use the river on a 24/7 basis – whilst at the same time allow the river water to escape to the sea. Like the Swansea Bay lagoon, it could incorporate a tidal electricity generating system, providing power for the Newport region.
Brian Hayes Clearwell Court Newport