Spotlight on surface water and drainage

GOV.UK today announced that they welcomed the completion of an independent review aimed at reducing the risk of surface water flooding across England and is taking immediate action to implement some of its recommendations.

This action will build on the recent publication of the government’s long-term plan for managing flood and coastal erosion risk to create a more resilient nation.

Surface water flooding generally occurs after heavy thunderstorms or rainfall when the volume of rainwater is such that it does not drain away or soak into the ground. More than 3 million properties in England are at risk of surface water flooding and, like all flooding, it can cause devastation to communities. Due to the localised nature of such heavy rain, it can also be very difficult to predict.

The review, which was led by David Jenkins, Chair of the Wessex Regional Flood and Coastal Committee, looked at responsibility for surface water and drainage assets, and has provided recommendations on how to make these arrangements more efficient, straightforward and effective.

While the review will now be considered in full by ministers, the government is immediately accepting 12 of the recommendations. This will ensure better understanding of surface water flood risk by all authorities and a more coordinated and efficient approach across England, said the government.

The actions that the government is taking are being built on commitments in the Surface Water Management Action Plan which has seen £2 million invested since April 2019 to enable lead local flood authorities to update their flood risk maps – covering over 1600km2, which includes just under 225,000 properties and 2.7 million people at risk of flooding.