The UK government has issued new plans to spend more cash on flood defences.
Although much of the cash is being allocated for a Canute-like policy of stopping coastal erosion, some £170m extra is being spent on 22 new flood defence schemes, on top of a previously announced £5billion package of flood defence projects. The government pdf document claims these actions and extra cash will reduce the risk of flooding by 11% by 2027, although how anyone could predict such a thing is beyond reason. How could you know which new houses and businesses will flood, or where heavy bursts of rainfall will meet blocked drains, ditches and never-dredged streams or rivers in 2027, and then assume that the flooding would be 11% less than now? Absolute drivel.
There is some waffle in the government pdf about creating peat bogs and nature reserves, which will hold water. Very good and entirely laudable, but it won’t solve the long-term flooding problems.
Still no plans announced to limit housing development BY LAW near rivers and lakes, no dredging to improve the outflow of water, no new legal requirements, standards or fines, for Councils or water companies to keep drains clear of obstacles. The government seems unwilling to end the cycle of over-development as reagrds housing. By allowing landowners and water companies to take their sweet time over essential maintenance to drainage systems, they help create a patchwork of hazards, bottlenecks and diversions that water inevitably takes when rainfall is biblical.
Until the various governments of the UK regulate the pathways that surface water takes each time the heavens open, the floods will continue to get worse and affect more people and properties.
Let’s ask one other basic question here; why is there no integration of real time flood mapping tech in water companies and public sector departments BY LAW, so that the response is faster, more accurate and more localised, when flooding occurs – especially at weekends? The tech that Previsico are using is exactly what should be deployed during a major incident. It isn’t good enough that Councils have mapped what land, property and infrastructure has PREVIOUSLY flooded. They need to be compelled to use real-time data to co-ordinate responses with other public sector agencies and the water companies.
James Dalton, Director of General Insurance Policy at the Association of British Insurers said:
“We welcome this update on the Government’s work to tackle flood risk – an issue of crucial importance to many communities, especially in the context of climate change.
“The industry-developed Flood Re scheme has ensured that over 350,000 homeowners at flood risk have been able to access affordable flood insurance. The government needs to provide an adequate, long-term investment programme to build new, and maintain existing, flood defences, whilst ensuring that the planning process prevents inappropriate new developments in areas at flood risk. Insurers will continue to support their customers who have been flooded, have committed to developing a signposting service for those who find it challenging to obtain flood insurance and remain committed to doing all we can, in partnership with the UK Government and the devolved administrations, to ensure that increased flood risk is appropriately managed.”