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Flooding damage ‘could have been prevented’

Some of the damage caused by recent flooding could have been prevented, a group of leading environmental experts have stated.

Writing in the Telegraph, they suggested a range of water management techniques which should be used in future and called for the Prime Minister to adopt a clear strategy for flood prevention.

They recommended use of forestry and land management to hold back water in the upper reaches of rivers, to fit sustainable drainage systems on buildings, ensure buildings that cannot be protected are build to withstand flooding, all new housing on flood plains to be resilient when built, and more cooperation between experts, local authorities, water companies, landowners and residents.

The experts said: “While we are pleased to hear that the prime minister will provide leadership and funding, it is essential that government actions are based on best practice developed over many years.

“Water management techniques could have helped prevent the effect of flooding on villages, towns and over surrounding land seen recently.

“Emergency measures are in order for the immediate crisis. But in the long term, the management of water requires a clear strategy.”

In response to the letter, a Downing Street spokesman said: “We are looking at all potential options to tackle flooding and are spending £2.4bn on flood management and protection from coastal erosion. That is more than ever before.

“We have already announced a record level of capital investment at £370m in 2015/16 rising to over £400m in 2020/21 as part of our long-term plan to improve resilience.

“We need to employ a range of techniques to alleviate flooding, including dredging in some areas. We will look at the lessons to be learned to see where additional flood protection can help.”

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Image c. Steve Parsons/ PA Wire


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