The Environmental Industries Commission (EIC) has welcomed the opportunity to engage in the Public Accounts Committee inquiry, with the submission outlining recommendations for addressing current challenges and preparing for future risks.
Acknowledging the challenges faced by climate change, population growth, and urbanisation, the EIC emphasises the necessity for a comprehensive and balanced approach to flood risk management.
Current State of Flood Risk Management:
The EIC welcomes the National Audit Office's (NAO) report, emphasising the need for a shift from an over-reliance on hard defences to a more balanced inclusion of natural flood management (NFM) measures. NFM, such as wetlands and tree planting, is deemed more cost-effective and sustainable in the long term.
The EIC has urged government to encourage property developers to build flood-resilient structures, incorporating flood-resistant materials, designs, and warning systems.
While acknowledging the Environment Agency's progress in protecting homes, the EIC has also called for a broader perspective on tackling overall flood risk, emphasising the importance of NFM adoption.
Challenges and Future Preparedness:
In the submission, EIC identifies climate change, population growth, and urbanisation as key challenges in managing future flood risks. To address these challenges, the EIC has outlined a series of recommendations including:
- Investing in research and development for innovative flood risk management solutions.
- Collaborating with local authorities to integrate flood risk considerations into planning decisions.
- Enhancing flood defence data quality for effective risk management.
- Ensuring insurers consider flood defences at both large-scale and property-level improvements.
- Emphasising adaptive planning and integrated water management for future preparedness.
In addition, the EIC has also proposed setting a target to reduce the number of homes at risk by 10% by 2030, allocating £1 billion annually to NFM measures, and introducing mandatory flood-resistant construction standards for new developments.
The recommendations presented by EIC, combined with collaboration with other industry partners, offer a robust foundation for a sustainable and effective approach to flood risk management.
To get involved in the work of the EIC Water Taskforce, please contact Sapphire Metcalf.
Find out more about the EIC Water Taskforce.