JBA supported by LEC win top prize in government competition for innovation in reducing flood risk

An inter-disciplinary team led by JBA Consulting have won top prize in a competition launched in May 2016 by Defra, the government department responsible for protecting the country against flooding.

Working in partnership with experts from the Lancaster Environment Centre at Lancaster University, one of the country’s leading centres for environmental research and teaching, the JBA-led team demonstrated innovative new ways of managing the risk of flooding.

Competition requirements

The aims of the competition were to develop proposals for managing the risk of flooding in the River Eden catchment, Cumbria, which flows through the city of Carlisle, by answering the question:

“If you were responsible for managing the Eden catchment in Cumbria, what flood risk management approaches would you recommend, and why?”

Competition entries were asked to focus on this practical overall policy question, while demonstrating imaginative new approaches to at least one part of the problem.

The winning entry by JBA and LEC did this by applying a suite of innovations in modelling and data analysis to generate new evidence about the costs and benefits of working more closely with nature to manage flood risk within the whole catchment, and to enhance the value of flood forecasts and warnings in communities at risk of flooding.

Shaping the future

The new methods developed by JBA and LEC will help to deliver on a recommendation by MPs that measures like this need to be a key part of protecting against the risk of flooding, and fit in with the Government’s recent National Flood Resilience Review, which highlights the scope for further developments in flood modelling.

Dr Barry Hankin, leader of the JBA team said “By mixing advances in computer modelling and data analysis with local engagement, our aim has been to help develop realistic flood risk management proposals that can combine working with natural processes with other, more established ways of building resilience against flooding.”

The innovations demonstrated in the winning entry build on more than 10 years of research, development and testing of JBA’s flood models, which simulate the flow of water through the landscape. It also highlights research partnerships with Lancaster University to assess the statistical likelihood of extreme flood scenarios and predict how flood water could be effectively held back within streams and rivers.

Want to find out more?

Contact Barry Hankin or Rob Lamb for more information or click here to read the summary of the proposals.

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