National Flood Resilience Review Confirmed

The Government has confirmed details of the National Flood Resilience Review first announced last month following Storm Desmond to assess how the country can be better protected from future flooding and increasingly extreme weather events.

Chaired by Oliver Letwin, the review team will  include the Government’s Chief Scientist, Defra, DECC, DCLG, HM Treasury and the Chief Executive of the Environment Agency. There will be four key areas for the review:

  • updating climate modelling and stress-testing the nation’s resilience to flood risk
  • assessing the resilience of our important infrastructure like electricity substation
  • temporary defences
  • future investment strategy.

Environment Secretary Liz Truss said that the review will identify any gaps in approach and pinpoint where our defences and modelling need strengthening, allowing prompt action to be taken. An update will be provided in the spring, and the Review is set to be published this summer.  During the autumn, the government says it will begin implementing any short-term measures identified, and start work to review the longer term strategy, which will include close consultation with the National Infrastructure Commission.

The Government set out the full terms of reference of the National Flood Resilience Review Group (NFRRG) are follows:

“The first task is to carry out a new assessment of the damage that extreme rainfall could cause across England. This will allow us to take a hard look at how our cities, towns and villages stand up to severe flooding. It will assess the impacts on crucial elements of local infrastructure, including significant roads, bridges, energy infrastructure, water treatment plants, telecoms and hospitals. This will provide a ‘stress test’ of our nation’s resilience to flooding, so improving our understanding of the possible implications of extreme events. In doing this we will also review whether the assumptions in current modelling are still sound. We will shortly be issuing a call for evidence to inform this work.

“With this evidence and analysis in hand, government will then turn to considering the longer term strategy on flood risk alleviation. This will look at temporary and flexible responses as well as hard flood defences beyond the current six-year programme. This will include the balance between protection and resilience, an assessment of risk in England’s core cities and will consider the role of both government and wider society in reducing flood risk. The Review will align closely with Defra’s work on integrated catchment-level management of the water cycle in the government’s 25 year Environment Plan.”




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