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Are we now better prepared to adapt to flooding?

21 January 2021


With the population of the planet being largely consumed by the anxiety of the pandemic, it is easy to forget what environmental challenges the UK was facing just 12 months ago.

In February 2020 a huge proportion of England and Wales was affected by what was described as “unprecedented” flooding from Storms Ciara and Dennis, impacting on thousands of people’s lives. Now in January 2021 the north of England and Scotland is being battered by Storm Christoph, which is causing similar scenes of devastation. 

Renewed focus on sustainability and a drive towards Net Zero should assist in the long term dampening of the extreme weather we are seeing. However, we will see an increase in the frequency of such extreme events for years to come. 

With this in mind, the huge investment associated with publicly funded flood defence solutions is likely to prove unsustainable as a way of mitigating the effects of floods. Ownership between Environment Agency, Local Authorities and Water Companies is too fragmented. There is a lack of alignment between these regulators and the development sector, which is in a position to contribute more to a reduction in existing flooding problems through collaboration, rather than being associated as the cause of the “problem”. 

Collaboration can create opportunity for delivering Environmental Enhancement via development, to create a win-win to all involved, including flood affected communities (#GainForAll).  

The pandemic has really tested our ability to adapt quickly to a crisis situation. With the impact of Climate Change likely to generate many more Storm Christophs in the coming years, our ability to adapt to change, as well as collaborate more widely, will be essential components to our ability to succeed.

For more information please contact Iqbal Rassool or Chriss Dodd and see our related articles:

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