Everyone involved in this situation was eventually loathe to admit that the whole thing was triggered by a typographical error. Mainly because it worked out surprisingly well and many would very much like to be able to claim credit for what ended up occurring. It was really more a combination of several factors cohering much better than anyone might have predicted than anything else. Certainly, no one could have actually said it was anything remotely resembling a plan. But this is how things play out in our modern era. Probably.
Essentially, many in the north of England have been somewhat distracted by the recent flooding. Not particularly because dirty rainwater was taking over the lower floors of their houses but because of how much the recent weather was screwing with their Wi-Fi signals. It’s not terribly surprising, you know how we get as a species without regular access to funny cat videos on YouTube. It’s an evolutionary thing.
Something definitely had to be done. Thanks to the catastrophic failure of the expensive flood defences to do absolutely anything constructive it was terribly important for folk to be shown trying to do something or other to help. There was a faintly nebulous idea vaguely related to getting volunteers in to try and usher the water into the sea or something similarly self defeating.
And then somebody grasped the definitively wrong end of the stick and released a bunch of prisoners into the general population under the notion that they might do something to help out with the overwatering situation. So help they most certainly did. A recently incarcerated town planner (hit someone with a trowel in relative self defence) got everyone cracking on an aqueduct inspired design and before long thanks to their efforts the sky water slipped away in a matter of days. They’ll get cracking on installing better flood defences as soon as they’ve had a sufficiency of strong tea.