The Environment Agency today unveiled its new flood warning service for infrastructure owners and operators.
The Flood Warnings for Infrastructure (FWFI) service will provide infrastructure operators - such as utility companies and transport - with individually tailored warnings allowing organisations to take actions earlier to protect crucial assets.
Some 55% of water treatment works and pumping stations and 14% of electricity infrastructure in England are situated in flood risk areas, along with some 4,000km of roads and 2,500km of railway.
Following the 2007 floods, the Pitt Review recommended the Environment Agency should develop a flood warning system more tailored to the needs of infrastructure operators.
In partnership with Western Power Distribution, the Environment Agency has developed the web-based solution to meet the flood warning needs of infrastructure operators.
The service is for any type of equipment, development or network, including sewage treatment works, telephone exchanges, offices or depots, motorways and railways. Any organisation that owns or operates fixed assets or networks is eligible to adopt the service.
Environment Agency director of flood and coastal risk management Robert Runcie: “We provide information so that infrastructure operators know what is at risk so they can build resilience into their systems. The new flood warning service for operators is a major step forward to allow protection of essential assets in the infrastructure system.
“Operators must continue to invest in business continuity measures for their systems so that essential services can continue even during a flood.
“The floods in Cumbria last year resulted in considerable damage to crucial infrastructure, leaving 10,000 homes without power and 2,000 phone lines threatened. This is highlights the risk we face of increasing flood risk due to climate change.
“The Environment Agency’s new service will help operators to take action earlier ahead of floods and we urge all infrastructure owners and operators in flood risk areas to take up the service.”