Minister for climate change and environment Ian Pearson announced £1.7M funding would be granted for 15 nationwide projects during a visit to Great Yarmouth, where residents have recently suffered from surface water flooding.
Mr Pearson said: 'Adapting to the impacts of climate change is vital if we are to manage the risks of flooding and coastal erosion. We can't ignore the consequences which is why we need to start adapting now. The issue of urban drainage flooding is of growing concern to towns and cities across England. Many homes and businesses have already suffered from the devastating impacts. But climate change will make the problem of urban flooding more serious because of the increased likelihood of more intense and frequent rain storms.'The pilots will consider how to reduce the impacts of urban drainage flooding in towns and cities across England and how best to adapt to the inevitable consequences of climate change. The studies, announced by Defra today, will pinpoint areas at risk, identify the causes and consider the best ways of managing urban drainage to reduce future flooding. Flooding from surface water and urban drainage in towns and cities currently costs the national economy £270 million on average each year, according to the government's own research. But this could increase by up to £15 billion by the 2080s, if action is not taken. Thames Water will lead a pilot in North Brent, London, where there is a significant history of flooding in the area from sewers and rivers. The partners in the project will produce a joint drainage strategy to alleviate sewer and river flooding for a wide range of potential rainfall events. Nick Martin, Wastewater Modelling Consultant at Thames Water, said: 'Both changing rainfall patterns and the paving over of gardens are increasing the risk of flooding in North Brent. We'll be working with all the parties involved in managing that risk to develop a strategy to tackle all forms of flooding - whether from rivers, sewers or the drainage system.' For more information go to http://www.defra.gov.uk/environ/fcd/policy/strategy/ha2.htm