Thursday, July 12, 2012

UK flood risk to double, says sub-committee

Solid State Technology: A report released today claims the number of English homes and businesses at risk of flooding is set to nearly double in the next twenty years. The Adaptation Sub-Committee of the Committee on Climate Change found that with current investment levels, the number of homes at significant risk of flooding would increase from 330,000 today to around 570,000 in 2035.

Conversely, a £20m increase in annual funding, together with careful local planning and property-level retrofitting could halve the number of houses at risk. The report warned that in the last decade development has been disproportionately high in the flood plain, with an increase of 12 per cent compared to 7 per cent across the rest of the country.

Around 10 per cent of the country's vital infrastructure is currently located in the floodplain. One in seven homes and businesses are currently estimated to face a flood risk of some level. Take-up of measures to protect individual properties has also been far lower than required, while funding for flood defences has also decreased in the current spending period from both public and private sources.

The government has cut annual capital funding for new flood defence schemes and improvements from £300m to £260m, and has skimmed £20m from the maintenance, emergency response and risk-modelling budgets, which now stand at £240m per year.

The nation has just endured the wettest spring on record, with at least 1200 properties flooded and some areas experiencing a month's rain in just 24 hours....

The Street, West Clandon, Surrey, seen flooded after heavy rain in 2009. Shot by Arriva436, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license

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