THE GOVERNMENT has appointed the ICE to carry out an independent review into current river flood defence practice.
The Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries & Food (MAFF) has asked the ICE to assess whether current practices are technically and environmentally appropriate, and to recommend ways of reducing loss of human life and damage to property when floods occur.
The review comes in the wake of last autumn's floods, which crippled much of the nation, and left a repair bill running into billions of pounds.
MAFF figures show that over 10% of the population of England and Wales is susceptible to inland flooding. Over 5,000km 2of land is below sea level, with 12% of agricultural land occupying flood plains.
The ICE will set up a commission to conduct the review, to be chaired by immediate past president and water expert Professor George Fleming.
'MAFF's award to the ICE is recognition of the Institution's expertise and professionalism, ' said Fleming. 'We will be seeking to deliver sustainable environmental and engineering solutions appropriate for the 21st century.'
The commission's conclusions are expected to be instrumental in guiding future flood defence procurement, worth £200M/year each.