Hidden mill ponds, drains and ditches could be brought back into use to help Calderdale’s flooding problem - but the Environment Agency needs to find them first!
The authority wants to produce a detailed map of the old waterways to see if they could help the area cope with flooding.
And it is appealing for help from historians, landowners and those with local knowledge of the Calder Valley to find out where they are.
Andrew Coen, the Environment Agency’s lead engineer for the Calder Catchment, said: “A number of local people and landowners have asked whether we can make use of the large network of historic but now redundant water infrastructure which was built in the 19th century to power local mills.
“Although we have a lot of information about the Victorian water infrastructure, there will undoubtedly be features which have not been mapped but which are still known by local people. Some of these could be significant in helping us to work out whether they could be upgraded and used again to manage flood risk in the valley.
“We are also keen to learn more about existing and historic land drainage systems so we can better understand the role they have now and the role they might have in the future to help reduce flooding.“
The agency needs depth, size and condition as well as locations.
Mr Coen said: “We would like to build a comprehensive map of this surviving infrastructure and the local knowledge of landowners, farmers, historians, hikers, builders and members of every community in the Calder Valley will be essential in helping us to gather the data we need.”
If you have information about any historic water infrastructure, land drains, ponds or any other assets which you think could be used to manage flooding, visit