Industry News

Defra Launches a Competition on Flood Risk Management in Cumbria

Written by: editor, 2 Aug 2016

Cumbria Floods

A competition to encourage innovative and practical approaches to flood risk management in Cumbria following the winter’s flooding has been launched by the UK Government. Building on the work of the Cumbria Floods Partnership, the aim of the competition is to create an opportunity for a wide range of interested parties to apply their expertise […]

European Cities “Must Step Up Adaptation Efforts”

Written by: editor, 7 Jul 2016

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Cities across Europe must step up their adaptation efforts if they are to handle the increasingly complex challenges caused by climate change such as flooding and drought, a new European Environment Agency (EEA) report has warned The EEA report Urban adaptation to climate change in Europe 2016 – transforming cities in a changing climate stresses the benefits […]

Cumbria Flood Action Focuses on Long-Term Catchment Planning

Written by: editor, 1 Jul 2016

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The Government has set out its Cumbria Flood Action Plan entitled “Reducing Flood Risk from Source To Sea”, it sets outs the first steps towards an integrated catchment plan for Cumbria.  Cumbria Flood Action Plan In addition to the much-needed short-term actions made in response to the Storm Desmond flooding, the plan outlines longer term measures to protect communities […]

Engineered and natural solutions both needed to tackle urban flood risk

Written by: editor, 23 Jun 2016

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A new briefing note by the Parliamentary Office of Science & Technology (POST) collates current expert opinion to provide a valuable policy review on Adapting Urban Areas to Flooding. The note stresses that “there is no single solution that can manage all flood risk”.  Instead “a portfolio of engineered and natural solutions can be implemented” […]

Reactive Flood Defence Funding is Unacceptable, warn MPs

Written by: editor, 9 Jun 2016

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The Government’s reactive approach to spending on flood defences and a lack of long-term strategic planning is failing to protect communities at risk of flooding, a new report by an influential committee of MPs is warning. The Environmental Audit Committee, chaired by Labour MP Mary Creagh,  published its findings following an inquiry: Flooding: Cooperation Across Government.  Final report. […]

Government Commits to Review SuDS Delivery in England

Written by: editor, 11 May 2016

SuDS housing during construction web

As deliberations over the Housing and Planning Bill near their final stages, the Government has committed to conducting a statutory review of the effectiveness of the SuDS planning policy introduced in England in April 2015.  However, the timing of the review has yet to be confirmed. As part of the ‘ping-pong’ progression of the bill […]

Lords Vote in Favour of SuDS Amendment to Housing Bill

Written by: editor, 28 Apr 2016

photo showing homes with a vegetated pond in the foreground

The House of Lords has voted in favour of an amendment to the Housing and Planning Bill that would force widespread implementation of Sustainable Drainage Systems in all new developments in England. The amendment has received a huge show of support from professional water industry, construction and environmental groups. However, the amendment would need to […]

EIC Proposes Ten Point Plan for Flood Policy Reform

Written by: editor, 15 Apr 2016

Cumbria Floods

The Environmental Industries Commission (EIC) has proposed a Ten Point Plan to the Government to ‘reboot’ flood policy in the light of the National Flood Resilience Review. In a new report, Turning the Tide, the EIC sets out new policy recommendations for flood policy reform. The Environmental Industries Commission’s members include a wide range of […]

Sustainable Water Strategy for Northern Ireland

Written by: editor, 5 Apr 2016

Image of Downstream Defender protecting wetland

A new long-term water strategy for Northern Ireland has been launched, setting out a range of initiatives to deliver the Northern Ireland Executive’s long-term goal of a sustainable water sector in the region.

Flood Re Insurance Scheme Goes Live

Written by: editor,

flood for web

The Flood Re insurance scheme designed to help insurance companies provide affordable cover for properties at high risk of flooding is now operating, after gaining approval from financial regulators. Flood Re will enable insurers to offer competitive premiums and lower excesses for an estimated 350,000 homes across the UK located in areas at high risk of flooding.Flood Re was […]

Chancellor promises £700 million for extra flood defences

Written by: editor, 24 Mar 2016

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An additional £700 million spending on flood defences was announced as part of Chancellor George Osborne’s March budget. The extra funds are on top of the £2.3bn of planned spending up to 2021 and exceed the Government’s commitment to building 1,500 flood defence schemes. Yorkshire and Cumbria, which were badly hit by flooding at the […]

Lords urge Government to consider critical infrastructure status for SuDS

Written by: editor, 25 Feb 2016

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A House of Lords select committee has recommended that the Government takes a more proactive approach to the provision of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS), including re-considering the option of a separate approval regime critical infrastructure status for SuDS. The National Policy for the Built Environment committee’s report asserts the importance of delivering a better built environment,  but expresses concerns […]

National Flood Resilience Review Confirmed

Written by: editor, 27 Jan 2016

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The Government has confirmed details of the National Flood Resilience Review first announced last month following Storm Desmond to assess how the country can be better protected from future flooding and increasingly extreme weather events. Chaired by Oliver Letwin, the review team will  include the Government’s Chief Scientist, Defra, DECC, DCLG, HM Treasury and the Chief Executive […]

New SUDS Guidance for Scotland

Written by: editor, 15 Jan 2016

Up-Flo Filtration Installation Aberdeen Business Park for web

The SUDS Working Party in Scotland has published The Water Assessment and Drainage Assessment Guide (WADAG). This supersedes previous guidance ‘Drainage Assessment: A Guide for Scotland’. The WADAG is intended to help guide developers, planners and others involved in water and drainage infrastructure through the necessary stages to obtain relevant permissions and comply with standards […]

Scottish Govt Launches £235m Flood Risk Management Plan

Written by: editor, 12 Jan 2016

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The Scottish Government has announced a £235m flood risk management plan to protect up to 10,000 properties from the risk of flooding. The Flood Risk Management plan contains 14 local strategies and proposals for 42 flood protection schemes or engineering works planned for 2016-21 and a range of other flood alleviation measures. This will be supported […]

EFRA Committee Seeks Answers to Recent Flooding

Written by: editor,

Cumbria Floods

EFRA Committee questions EA executives about flooding The parliamentary Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (EFRA) has questioned community representatives and senior Environment Agency executives on recent flooding in the UK. The one-off enquiry, which took place on 6 January 2016, was organised in response to Storm Desmond in early December. Since then, Storms Eva and Frank […]

Move Flood Defences Upstream with “Blue Sky” Technology, say flood engineering experts

Written by: editor, 14 Dec 2015

Installation of one of the Hydro-Brake® Flow Controls at Wigan

An unconventional flood defence technology that holds back river water in the hills above low-lying towns and cities could help prevent future misery as climate change makes severe and intense events more likely, say technology experts. As a review  begins into the effectiveness of flood defences that were unable to fully protect thousands of homes […]

Government Announces National Flood Resilience Review

Written by: editor,

Cumbria flash floods

The Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss has announced a National Flood Resilience Review, following the Cumbria floods, to to better protect the country from future flooding and increasingly extreme weather events. She said that review, to be delivered by a new cross Government team, would look afresh at how  flood risk is calculated in light of recent events. This […]

Ofwat Resilience Task Force Calls For Water Company Drainage Plans

Written by: editor, 9 Dec 2015

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An expert industry task group set up consider how the UK’s water infrastructure can become more resilient  has concluded there should be national wastewater and sewerage strategy, and that each water company should have a wastewater, sewerage and drainage plan, linked to SuDS. The recommendations of the Resilience Task and Finish Group will feed into […]

CIRIA SuDS Manual is Significantly Updated

Written by: editor, 13 Nov 2015

Image of Downstream Defender protecting wetland

The SuDS Manual, the key guidance for all those involved in designing, building and operating Sustainable Drainage Systems has been significantly updated to provide a comprehensive reference document, reflecting current thinking and drive future delivery of multi-functional SuDS. Launched at a successful event at the House of Commons on 12 November, CIRIA (753) The SuDS Manual is […]

Thames Launches £20m Twenty 4 Twenty SuDS Campaign

Written by: editor, 3 Nov 2015

Southwark Flood Defence - Stormcell® Installation

Thames Water has launched the Twenty 4 Twenty initiative –  a £20m campaign aimed at transforming at least 20 hectares of hard, impermeable surfaces into sustainable drainage projects over the next five years. The water company hopes the SuDS will ease pressure on the sewer network, reducing the risk of sewer flooding and pollution.Twenty 4 Twenty will focus […]

“Radical” London SuDS Action Plan Opens for Consultation

Written by: editor, 29 Oct 2015

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A “radical” action plan for SuDS aiming to bring about a “step change” in how rainwater is managed in the Capital has been announced.  The plan is needed to prevent over-capacity in London’s sewers that could risk major flooding by 2050, according to a new draft report led by the Mayor of London. The London Sustainable Drainage […]

Automatic Planning Permission For Brownfield Homes Sites

Written by: editor, 14 Oct 2015

The Gracemount Homes development. Photo courtesy of Edinburgh City Council

Granting automatic planning permission for housebuilding on brownfield sites is among ‘historic’ measures brought forward in the Government’s new Housing and Planning Bill, aimed at turning ‘generation rent into generation buy’. The plans announced by Housing Minister Brandon Lewis also include a new legal duty placed on councils to guarantee the provision of 200,000 Starter Homes on all reasonably […]

UK Body Calls for Joined-up Research into Floods and Droughts

Written by: editor, 1 Oct 2015

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The research arm of leading water UK water organisation has called for more joined-up approach between industry, Government and funding bodies to achieve more whole-system thinking to tackle water challenges. Looking for new ways to ensure security of water supply and resilience from floods and drought is essential according to the report by UK Water […]

New chief executive for Environment Agency

Written by: editor, 28 Sep 2015

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Sir James Bevan has been appointed chief executive of the Environment Agency.   Former chief executive Paul Leinster left his role on 25 September after 17 years at the Environment Agency.  David Rooke, the Environment Agency’s current executive director for flood risk management, will act as chief executive until Sir James takes up his new […]

Green Infrastructure Key to Healthier Cities, UK Government told

Written by: editor, 17 Sep 2015

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The potential for Green Infrastructure to have a positive impact on public health has been explored in a paper published by the UK Government Office for Science. Incorporating Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) is one of the key suggestions identified by Dr Val Kirby and Stephen Russell of the Landscape Institute.

New Planning Freedoms to Boost House Building

Written by: editor, 21 Jul 2015

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Chancellor George Osborne’s blueprint to speed the planning process and make it easier for developers to build more new homes has been welcomed by the house building industry.

Monitor and Evaluate SuDS Planning Policy Effectiveness, says CCC

Written by: editor, 16 Jul 2015

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The Committee On Climate Change – set up to advise the UK Government – says a process should be put in place for monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of planning policy in achieving a high uptake of SuDS in new development within 2 years. This is just one of a number of key recommendations made […]

“Act With Caution” over Cuts to Infrastructure, ICE warns Government

Written by: editor, 3 Jul 2015

Flow Control Lime Kiln Lane Resized

The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) has urged the Government to “act with caution” when making spending cuts in areas such as flood risk management, that could impact on the resilience of the UK and its infrastructure networks. In its submission to the Treasury ahead of the July Budget, the ICE warned that proposed public spending cuts threaten many […]

Huge Work Necessary for Flood Resilience, says UK Charity

Written by: editor, 29 May 2015

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The National Flood Forum, the UK charity dedicated to supporting and representing communities at risk of flooding, says people believe there is still a huge amount of work to be done to successfully manage and reduce flood risk. The NFF manifesto, issued just before the Election, reflects the views of a public survey conducted by the charity at the […]