Is the UK really prepared for flooding?
Following the devastating damage caused by the hurricanes overseas, protection from water damage is the talking point for many people in the UK. But is it really possible to protect our homes and businesses from flooding when the worst occurs?
There has been a significant amount of flooding in the UK in the past 10 years, with the most recent damage affecting the South West in 2016. Manual measures are put in place relatively quickly when we receive warning from the Met Office of flood risk, but is there more that can be done earlier to minimise the need for manual intervention? Can nature help us to reduce the damage to flooding?
Blue Print for Water have outlined a number of opportunities that are coming up where the initial preparation for flooding can change;
- Water companies are producing their business plans and could propose to investigate the impact of measures to mitigate flooding on water resource resilience. As water companies now have a duty towards company and environmental resilience, this surely makes sense as a win-win?
- DEFRA is spending £15 million on natural flood management schemes, but has not allocated any money for monitoring. These schemes need to be monitored, not just for one year or three, but long-term to highlight the multiple benefits they provide, such as environmental resilience to dry weather events and water resources resilience.
- DEFRA’s 25 year environment plan has the potential to not only help the environment adapt in the face of climate change, but to help our communities adapt by creating, enhancing, protecting and restoring our natural spaces, and clearly recognising the benefits that the environment brings us.
What do you think? Can water companies really help to reduce the flooding risk in the UK? Or is manual intervention the best option to protect our livelihoods when we suffer the effects of climate change?