Environment Agency outlines new flood risk measures

The Environment Agency has published a new economic assessment to aid planning for flooding and coastal risk management over the next 50 years. The study uses climate change, population and mapping data to set out future flood risk scenarios to help assess the most effective funding allocation.

The agency is investing some £2.6bn in flood and coastal erosion risk management projects between 2015 and 2021, with the goal of protecting 300,000 homes. The £10m Salford flood storage basin, opened in 2018, is deisgned to protect 2,000 homes and businesses. The extensive report also highlights the importance of continued investment to protect infrastructure including transport and utility networks, 41% of which are located in areas which are at risk of flooding.

Proposed measures include building and maintaining large-scale engineered defences, natural flood management techniques such as planting trees and slowing the flow of water and property flood resilience for homes.

As the population grows, the number of properties in the flood plain is set to almost double over the next 50 years. As a result, the long-term investment scenarios report predicts a significant increase in risk to property and infrastructure without an average £1bn annual investment up to 2065. It further calculates the overall benefit to cost ratio of the new estimates is 9 to 1 (so, for every £1 spent on protecting communities, its suggests around £9 in property damages and wider impacts would be avoided).

Director of flood strategy at the Environment Agency, Julie Foley says the scenarios are a key evidence base for the agency's Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy due later this year, and will help government, businesses and the insurance industry plan for the future.

The impacts of flooded infrastructure can be far more extensive than the immediate water damage, impacting on supply chains, travel and access to key services, such as hospitals and schools. The National Flood Resilience Review sets out how government is working with utilities companies, regulators and others to implement long-term resilience plans.

    Share Story:

Recent Stories