Resilience in the UK Ten Years from the Pitt Review

CIWEM’s Surface Water Management conference on 17 October will focus on resilience in the UK ten years on from the Pitt Review. Hannah Coogan, Technical Director, will join David Style, Senior Analyst at the Committee on Climate Change, to discuss measuring progress in surface water flood risk management in England in session one at 10.15. Surface Water Flood Zones (SWFZ) in Brighton and Hove will also be discussed by Jennifer Hill, Chartered Senior Analyst, and Ffion Wilson, Analyst, in session two at 11.50am.

A taste of what each of their talks will cover is outlined below.

Measuring progress in surface water flood risk management in England

The Adaptation Sub-Committee (ASC) of the Committee on Climate Change concluded in its 2017 statutory assessment of the National Adaptation Programme that the responsibility for managing surface water flooding is fragmented, mostly between Lead Local Flood Authorities, Water Companies and Highways Authorities and that the extent to which current activity is effectively tackling the current risk of flooding is unclear.

To investigate this further, the ASC commissioned research to define and improve metrics to measure progress in managing the risk of surface flooding at a local level, and based on the available data, collate these metrics to gain a national picture of the progress being made.

A comprehensive list of both existing and new metrics has been developed for the project that seeks to measure the effectiveness of surface water management in relation to the understanding of risk, ways of working and delivery of outcomes.  These have been prioritised in terms of how critical they are to the understanding of progress being made in surface water management.

The report concluded that central to the understanding of risk are the establishment of current and future baseline positions that are agreed and used by all partners. Further to this, and to meaningfully understand the effectiveness of surface water management, are metrics that measure the shared understanding of the drainage network and the overall effectiveness of the actions that every party is taking to understand the risk.

Hannah and David’s presentation will:

  • Set out the role of the ASC and how it measures national progress in managing current and future surface water flood risk
  • Summarise the approach to the research and stakeholders involved
  • Set out how we expect surface water flood risk to change in future
  • Present a national picture on the progress that is being made with regards to understanding the risk of surface water flooding now and in the future, ways of working and delivery of outcomes
  • Highlight challenges for surface water management that were raised, and the paradigm shift needed to address current and future surface water flood risk
  • Convey recommendations for the collection of metrics to manage progress in surface water management moving forwards
  • Present strategic recommendations to facilitate future data collection.

Surface Water Flood Zones (SWFZ) in Brighton and Hove

This presentation will introduce the concept of Surface Water Flood Zones (SWFZ) as formulated by JBA Consulting for Brighton and Hove City Council whilst preparing the Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA) 2018.

Introducing SWFZ aimed to reduce the reliance on planning conditions related to individual applications after the submission and decision to grant consent. Jennifer and Ffion will describe the drivers, method of definition and the impact on local planning policy.

Of the Environment Agency’s 17 nationally significant Flood Risk Areas, Brighton was ranked number 8. This illustrates that the surface water flood risk in Brighton is of high priority and requires careful consideration in the planning process.

Our approach to defining SWFZ took the principles of the fluvial and coastal Flood Zones and applied these as far as practical and appropriate. The SFRA recommended planning policy which will subsequently be formalised in the Brighton and Hove City Plan Part 2.

Want to know more?

Email Hannah Coogan, Jennifer Hill or Ffion Wilson for more information on their presentations. You can also find out more on our flood and water management web pages.

Read more about surface water management – post Pitt review in our blog.

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