Thursday, July 26, 2007

Featured Items – ‘Future Flooding’

Future Flooding - Executive Summary
FORESIGHT, 2004, 363.349 FOR

The severe flooding that has dominated the news over the last week has brought renewed focus to questions of the extent to which climate change is having a tangible impact our lives at present, as well as the efforts being made by government to protect us from an increasingly unstable climate.

Foresight: Future Flooding is a report published in 2004 by the
Foresight Programme. The aim of the report was primarily to examine the developing needs of flood and coastal defences between the years 2030 and 2100 in order to inform long-term policy. However it also analysed the flood defence position at the time of publication and estimated that 4 million people were at risk of flooding, constituting a property value of £200 billion.

In terms of current expenditure, the report estimated estimated that "flooding, and managing it, cost the UK around £2.2 billion each year: we currently spend around £800 million per annum on flood and coastal defences; and, even with present flood defences, we experience an average of £1,400 million of damage." Future Flooding was seen as an important warning for government at the time of publication and was given significant media coverage, however three years on government spending on flood defences and flood management remains roughly the same. When fielding questions in Parliament regarding government spending on flood defences and flooding management, new Environment Secretary Hilary Benn pointed to the fact that the government were well ahead of the preset target of increasing spending on flood prevention to £1 billion a year by 2024.

The full report and executive summery are available online through Foresight. A hard copy of the Executive Summery is available to borrow from the RSA library.

View pictures of flood hit areas from The Guardian.

Read a report by the London Assembly Environment committee examining the risk of future flooding in the Thames Gateway, entitled London Under Threat.

For information on the current flood situation, and to view a flood map of your area, visit the Environment Agency.

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