Consultation ends next month on the Environment Agency’s controversial classification system for deciding which English and Welsh reservoirs in England and Wales are deemed to be “high risk”.
The Agency has been charged with coming up with a new classification system as part of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010, and all owners of reservoirs that are classified as high risk will have to comply fully with the Act when it comes into force in October.
The Agency is proposing to base the classification on flood inundation maps developed since 2008, which give an indication of potential loss of life if a dam was breached under flood conditions. Any reservoir where loss of life is predicted from these maps is set to be classified as high risk. However, engineers have challenged the Agency’s decision to use the inundation maps, which were initially developed for emergency planning purposes, and not for reservoir classification.
A different approach is being taken in Scotland, where the new classification system also takes account of environmental, economic and cultural damage.
Consultation ends on 23 February. Details can be found here.