Flood roadmap sets out vision to predict and manage risk
22 March 2022
A new flood hydrology roadmap has set out a vision to help scientists and practitioners better predict future flood events and improve flood resilience across the UK.
The report, released today (Tuesday 22 March), brings together the views of more than 100 experts from over 50 organisations, including the University of Reading. It will improve hydrological data, models and science which can be used to inform how we adapt to flood risk from our rivers, surface water, groundwater and reservoirs.
These models will underpin flood risk management for decades to come, with benefits to areas including:
- design and maintenance of flood defences
- ·national and local flood risk assessment and mapping
- the design and operation of flood forecasting and warning schemes
- design and operation of sustainable drainage systems
- understanding the impact of climate change on future flood risk
The roadmap will also help increase understanding of the impact of climate change on flood risk and will support modelling of past and future climate change impacts.
The Environment Agency has already secured £6.9 million over six years to start delivering on the roadmap and is working with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Natural Resource Wales, Department for Infrastructure Northern Ireland and UK Research and Innovation to identify routes to further funding.
Professor Hannah Cloke, a hydrologist at the University of Reading and an advisor on the report, said: “Extra funding to reduce flood risk across the UK is always very welcome, but this roadmap will be key to spending it well.
“Flooding devastates infrastructure and businesses, but also people’s lives. We are pleased to be playing a central role in guiding funding and actions to where it is most needed and can have the biggest positive effect.”
Dr Sean Longfield, Lead Scientist on Flood and Coastal Risk Management Research, for the Environment Agency, and an author of the report, said: “This roadmap provides us with a fantastic opportunity to better understand the science behind flooding and will be an invaluable tool in helping us understand future flood risk.
“The Environment Agency is working hard to ensure recommendations from the roadmap are followed up on so we can develop the next generation of flood hydrology knowledge, methods, models and systems that will underpin flood and coastal risk management for decades to come.”
The roadmap is intended to cover England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland from 2021 to 2046. A Flood Hydrology Roadmap Governance Board has been established to ensure the roadmap is taken forward.
It comes as the government’s investment in flooding has doubled to a record £5.2 billion between 2021-27, creating around 2,000 new flood and coastal defences to better protect hundreds of thousands of properties across England.