A new groundwater flood risk map developer suggests that the risks are considerably lower in many areas than previous models have suggested.
The new map has been developed by environmental consultant ESI, which claims its new model more accurately separates other causes of flooding from groundwater flooding mechanisms.
“Groundwater flooding represents one of the natural hazards faced in the UK and mapping of groundwater flood risk areas provides an important support to land use planning and in the assessment of climate change impacts,” said ESI managing director and hydrogeologist Mark Fermor. “However, previous approaches have suggested problems are far more widespread than they really are, and ESI’s work has helped to show that the issues are actually quite localised.
“The new Groundwater Flood Risk Model emphasises that the areas at risk from groundwater flooding are considerably less than previously flagged by others – a finding that will potentially have a major impact on those with responsibility for land management and development, as well as those currently living and working in seemingly ‘at risk’ areas.
“However, groundwater flooding does represent a significant hazard in some areas of England and Wales, and groundwater conditions can also exacerbate surface flooding, so we wanted to publish this map to help users focus on where appropriate precautions should be taken. As with many environmental hazards, most sites may not suffer problems, but if you do not have a reliable map then the issues keep coming back up the list of priorities until you do.”