The Environment Agency has just released a new economic assessment to aid planning for flooding and coastal risk management over the next 50 years.
The study uses new climate change, population and mapping data to set out potential future scenarios, assessing how funding could be best allocated to meet these challenges.
The long-term investment scenarios report states that without sustained investment, future flood damage to properties and infrastructure in England will significantly increase. It estimates that an average annual investment of £1 billion will be necessary up to 2065.
The overall benefit to cost ratio of the new estimates is 9 to 1, which means for every £1 spent on protecting communities, around £9 in property damages and wider impacts would be avoided.
A full range of climate change scenarios demonstrate that a number of measures are needed to ensure that communities are resilient over the next half-century. These include building and maintaining large-scale engineered defenses and natural flood management techniques.
Julie Foley, Director Flood Strategy at the Environment Agency said: “The scenarios are a key evidence base to inform our Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy, due later this year, and will help government, businesses and the insurance industry plan for the future.”
The Environment Agency is investing £2.6 billion in flood and coastal erosion risk management projects between 2015 and 2021, helping to protect 300,000 homes.
Later this year, the EA will consult on its new Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy which sets out the long term vision for a nation more resilient to flooding and coastal change.