Source: environment-agency.gov.uk | properties risking flooding
The Environment Agency today announced plans to increase flood protection to 200,000 homes and businesses in England and Wales by 2015. The number of properties in England and Wales at significant risk of flooding could increase from 570,000 in 2009 to over 900,000 by 2035 at current levels of flood defence investment.
Launching the 2010-2015 corporate strategy at its annual conference in London, the organisation today warned that more properties face an increasing risk of coastal erosion and flooding from rivers and the sea due to climate change and population growth.
Since 2007, the Environment Agency has completed 102 flood defence schemes protecting over 63,000 additional homes in England and Wales.
Earlier this year, construction started on a £50m defence project to protect 16,000 properties in Nottingham and work has recently begun on the final stage of a £29m scheme in Weston-Super-Mare to protect 4500 homes and businesses from the risk of coastal flooding.
Work is also well under way at Dymchurch, Kent where a £60m scheme is increasing protection to 2,471 residential properties and 7,672 hectares of agricultural land.
The Environment Agency is already planning to manage a predicted one metre rise in sea levels. The Thames Barrier and its associated schemes, which protect 1.25 million people across the capital, will need to be upgraded or replaced by 2070 to cope with the effects of climate change.
By 2115, a predicted ten per cent increase in wave heights and wind speeds will increase the threat from coastal surges.
Environment Agency director of flooding and coastal erosion risk management, Robert Runcie, said: “The Environment Agency plans to protect an additional 200,000 properties in England and Wales from coastal erosion and flooding by 2015. Since 2007, we have completed 102 defences and this year we are progressing some major new schemes including Nottingham, Dymchurch and Weston-Super-Mare. However, no one can prevent flooding entirely and so people should check the Environment Agency's website to see if their postcode is at risk of flooding and sign up to receive free flood warnings.”