Since its launch in January 2015, the Somerset Rivers Authority (SRA) has been busy countywide, with schemes in West Somerset including flood risk management measures around Minehead, Holford, Sampford Brett, Bicknoller, Wootton Courtenay and Washford.
SRA plans for 2016/17 include the reinstatement of annual maintenance to West Somerset streams (Doniford Stream, Horner Water, Traphole Stream and Washford River), plus natural flood management activities to be carried out with the West Somerset Flood Group and numerous parishes.
Across Somerset, around £2.5m – raised through council tax – will be spent on a wide range of activities that focus on reducing the severity and impact of all types of flooding.
Plans for 2016/17 prioritize extra maintenance to rivers, roads and structures, such as pumping stations, as existing funding is not enough to cover the county’s needs.
In total, 28 different maintenance activities are proposed.
- repair and removal of blockages from an extra 700 culverts;
- more frequent gully clearing, new preventative jetting and road sweeping in areas most susceptible to flooding, particularly rural areas;
- dredging and desilting;
- reducing runoff in built-up areas and ensuring that existing sustainable urban drainage schemes are effective;
- providing development funding for a major scheme to store water above Taunton;
- continuing to invest in helping communities to become more resilient to flooding and its impacts.
In 2016/17, these funds will be used to deliver:
- additional channel maintenance;
- a major scheme to enhance the capacity of the River Sowy / King’s Sedgemoor Drain river system;
- to dredge further stretches of the rivers Parrett and the Brue;
- develop the Bridgwater Barrier project;
- join forces with the Royal Bath and West led ‘Hills to Levels’ project in funding a capital grant scheme for natural flood management in Somerset.