New Flood Hydrology Roadmap Provides “Fantastic Opportunity” in Battle to Combat Major Flooding

A newly released flood hydrology roadmap from the UK Environment Agency (UKEA) is seeking to provide an action plan and 25 year vision to help understand the root causes of inland flooding across the UK and find ways of preventing such disasters in the future.

The aim of the roadmap, released on 22nd March, is to improve hydrological science and data modelling to allow the UK to better plan for, and help prevent, the type of major flooding events seen on over the years.

Hydrology is defined as the scientific study of the movement, distribution, and management of water and the construction of this roadmap has involved calling upon the views of more than 100 flooding experts from over 50 organisations.

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 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.”

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By focusing on flood forecasting and flood estimation, the UKEA are seeking to update the design of UK flood defences, as well as national and local flood risk assessment and mapping. The roadmap will also be taking into account the impact of the climate emergency on flooding patterns.

With the roadmap being a UK-wide collaboration, the Environment Agency has already secured £6.9 million over six years to start delivering on the project 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.

On the subject of this collaboration between experts in the field, Rob Lamb, a Professor in Practice at Lancaster University and a Director of JBA Trust, said:  ““By bringing together the views of scientists and practitioners from a wide range of disciplines and sectors, the roadmap advances flood hydrology both as a technical discipline and as a profession. It is a landmark report that will shape hydrology and flood management for years to come.””

The roadmap has been implemented amid a doubling of the Westminster government’s investment in flooding to a record £5.2 billion between 2021-27.

(Featured Photo: Mike Finn – Creative Commons)

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