ISSUES outside the city's boundaries are the cause of low water levels in the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal in Newport, says the council.

Responding to "the frustrations of local people" regarding water levels, the council has outlined the issues it faces in managing the problem - and says it is seeking funding to improve sections of the canal in the city.

"We are working with partner organisations such as Natural Resources Wales, neighbouring councils and the Canal Trust to manage penning levels and water flow through the system," said the council in a statement.

"However, we are restricted by volume available from the higher sections of the system, which are experiencing issues.

"In recent months we undertook a limited amount of channel clearing, but unfortunately it was not sufficient to improve levels, due to lack of rainfall.

Low water levels at Fourteen Locks at Rogerstone. Picture: Robert Henderson, South Wales Argus Camera Club

The Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal had completely dried up earlier this month, here pictured at the top of Bettws Lane. Picture: Colin Hendy, South Wales Argus Camera Club

"We are aware that water levels are low, but at present there are no water sources to divert to this area."

The council says it has relocated "the majority of fish stock" in a pond where water levels are low, "to sections where the levels are holding, so there should be limited impact on the aquatic species. But we appreciate that people are concerned about the water fowl and other birds, and we will monitor the situation".

"The council is seeking funding to undertake de-silting, channel re-lining and other works," continues the statement.

"Newport has about seven miles of canal within the city and it manages this community asset with limited resources.

"Funds that are set aside for standard management are often diverted to deal with emergency works such as leaks, vandalism and encroachment.

"Where possible, we have used external resource to tackle issues such as surface maintenance and land management, through the creation of active travel routes along the towpaths.

"Invaluable work is also carried out by the Canal Trust and countryside service volunteer groups.

"We fully understand the frustrations of local people and will continue to seek funding to improve the canal, and keep the community updated of any works that may be undertaken to help alleviate the situation."