Improved rain and flood modelling, a significant increase in new temporary flood defences and greater protection to infrastructure were all outlined in the Government’s National Flood Resilience Review this week.
Lessons learnt from last winter’s floods have helped build a new approach so the nation is better prepared and more resilient to flooding, now and in coming years.
The review includes £12.5 million for new temporary defences, such as barriers and high volume pumps, at seven strategic locations around the country. By this winter, the Environment Agency will have four times more temporary barriers than last year. Utility companies’ have committed to increase flood protection of their key local infrastructure, such as phone networks and water treatment works, so they are resilient to extreme flooding. There will be a new stress test of the risk of flooding from rivers and the sea in England and, for the first time, Met Office forecasts of extreme rainfall scenarios will be linked with Environment Agency modelling to provide a new assessment of flood risk.
Locally, we have seen just how devastating flooding can be. This review sets out clear actions so we are better prepared to respond quickly in the event of future flooding and can strengthen the flood defences.
The extra funding will help the Environment Agency do even more for local communities so that we can better protect homes and businesses and respond even more rapidly and flexibly when extreme weather strikes.
With the evidence of the National Flood Resilience Review, Government will now turn its attention to investment after 2021, making sure funds are directed where they are needed most.
This builds on the £2.5 billion already being invested between 2015 and 2021 to strengthen our flood and coastal defences, as well as spending £1 billion on maintaining the nation’s flood defences over this Parliament.