5.2 million people in England and Wales, about 1 in 6 of the population are at risk of flooding. Less than 40% of those at significant risk are aware of their risk. The impact of flooding on people’s lives, as measured by insurance claims, has increased significantly in Britain and across the world. In Scotland about 1 in 22 people in the population are at significant risk,
The floods in 2007 created the biggest civil emergency in our history, 13 people died and 55,000 properties were affected (Pitt Review). Recently, the annual cost of flood damage has been £1.1 billion and is set to rise. In 2010-11 the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (the Department) spent £664 million on flood and coastal risk management, 95% of which went to the Environment Agency. (House of Commons Public Accounts Committee 2012).
When water is in your home you may not care where it came from, but flooding can come from a variety of sources that may not be obvious, or nearby, such as:
- Rivers (fluvial)
- The sea
- Surface water (pluvial) run-off from other areas
- Blocked or overloaded drains and waste water pipes
- Burst pipes
- Ditches and drainage channels
With increasing flooding from surface water the National Flood Forum is encouraging a new approach to flood risk management that:
- focusses on the needs of individuals and communities rather than technological quick fixes
- empowers communities to engage with local authorities and agencies to reduce their flood risk
- treats flood risk management in its broadest sense, addressing all of the things that will help to reduce risk in an area or for an individual, not just walls and pumps.
- supports people effectively when they do flood