On 10 September at the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM), NCE and Hydro International brought together a panel of key experts for a Round Table debate on the Floods & Water Management Bill.
The panel set out to tease out some of the key implications of the Bill, the issues surrounding its successful implication, and how potential barriers to success might be overcome.
The discussion covered key issues in relation to the role of new local authority flood engineers, the Environment Agency, and highlight best practice in sustainable drainage techniques already being demonstrated by leading local authorities and water companies in the UK.
It provided a forum for the issues that need to be highlighted in public debate as the government is putting its finishing touches to the new Bill.
Flooding in the UK
The floods that devastated the UK in the summer of 2007 have spurred action to improve our resources for dealing with flooding.
The Floods and Water Management Bill is a manifestation of these concerns − here are the key issues that need to be dealt with.
- Surface water − drains and gullies couldn’t take the extreme levels of rainfall in 2007, leaving surface water to flood homes. Surface water pluvial flooding was largely ignored in the past.
- Underground storage − this could halt flows in the event that the conditions of 2007 are repeated, and would incorporate sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS).
- Flood barriers − some critical infrastructure, such as the Mythe Water Treatment Works, are only protected by temporary barriers rather than permanent flood walls.
- Managing the risk of flood and coastal erosion − the Bill recommends the creation of new regional flood and coastal committees (RFCCs)
The panel brought together some of the UK’s leading experts in Flood Management and Sustainable Drainage Systems to share their expertise in the same room.
A number of the panel members have previously been involved in advising the Government on the formulation of policy.
The following are the Round Table panel experts. Click through to see profiles of each panel member.
CIWEM President and WSP Group Water Sector director
Sheffield University professor and MD Pennine Water Group
Head of strategy and engagement, Environment Agency
Drainage Team manager, Oxfordshire County Council
Chairman of CIWEM River and Coastal Group
Associate director, Arup
Stormwater division director, Hydro International
Independent consulting engineer, JRJ Consulting
Head of Non-Agricultural Diffuse Water Pollution Team, Defra