Tuesday, July 29, 2008

New plans to combat floods in Wales

Wales Online (UK): Environment Agency Wales is embarking on a consultation process including farming unions and other representative bodies to develop long term plans on how to manage flood risk. We will also be consulting with representatives of communities which are at risk of flooding.

…Traditionally our approach to managing flood risk has been dominated by the construction of defences but in the future it will not be possible to defend everyone, everywhere, all of the time. We must adapt and change to a broader approach and this will include managing the consequences of flooding, working with natural processes. This broader approach must take a long-term view because climate change is a long-term issue and it will take time to make the changes required.

We must consider how we manage water from the moment it falls onto the land, enters our watercourses, flows through our rivers, past our villages and towns, until it joins the sea. If we can improve the management of water that runs off the land, we can produce economic, environmental and flood risk benefits, both locally and elsewhere.

Changing the way we all work to manage flood risk will take time, there is no quick fix solution. The Environment Agency believes this change can only be achieved by working closely and constructively with a range of land managers and owners, and farmers are key to this success

….The Environment Agency is preparing 10 Catchment Flood Management Plans (CFMPs) to cover Wales. These are long term strategic plans and are intended to start to inform the wider debate into the future of flood risk management. CFMPs are supported by both the Welsh Assembly Government and Defra in England and are based on river and not political boundaries.

….It is no longer enough to target flooding through piecemeal local action. Climate change is here and it isn’t going to go away so we need to do things differently. CFMPs are about planning for the future and thinking about catchments as a whole and their impact on neighbouring areas and beyond….

Elwy River, Cefn, in Wales. Photo: Francis Bedford (1816-1894), 1860s. Wikimedia Commons. On occasion my photo research isn't current.

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