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Flood risk bodies 'should manage droughts as well'

A key figure has called for a more co-ordinated approach to avoiding floods and droughts.

Terry Nash, director of the UK Rainwater Management Association, said flood risk management authorities should be rebranded to give them responsibility for minimising droughts.

Speaking at an ICE conference in London last week, he said that by the middle of this century, there could be too much water half the year and not enough the other half.

“Farmers will have to hang on some of the water that falls on their land [over winter] if they want to have any in September,” said Nash.

“But I don’t think water companies and governments are thinking in these terms. It boils down to a silo approach to risk management.

“There is no UK minister who can talk about national resources. We have a national scheme for avoiding droughts but rainfall is a local and regional activity and needs to be managed in an integrated way.

“Flood risk management authorities should advise planning authorities in terms of floods and droughts.”

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has overall responsibility for policy on flood and coastal erosion risk management, and provides funding for flood risk management authorities through grants to the Environment Agency and local councils.

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