“Good News” Flood Story unusually overlooked by Castle Point Council spokesperson!

An update on the proposed upgrading of the flood defences protecting London and riverside areas alongside the Thames in Essex and Kent has been announced by the Environment Agency.

Thames Estuary Asset Management 2100 programme (TEAM2100)

The Environment Agency inspects all defences in London and the Thames estuary at least annually and in most cases twice a year. To make the most efficient use of our 10-year work programme, we need to carry out more detailed investigations into the condition of some of these defences. Investigating tidal defences TEAM2100 is carrying out detailed engineering and structural investigations into the condition of tidal flood defences in London and the Thames estuary. This work began in March 2015 and will be largely complete by March 2016. The defences include the Thames Barrier and 350 kilometres of flood walls and embankments, smaller barriers, pumping stations and flood gates. This system of defences protects 1.25 million people and £200 billion worth of property. Many of the defences are over 30 years old, and in some cases over 100 years old. Our investigations will provide us with information about the condition of individual defences and about the system as a whole. What we learn from these investigations will inform our 10-year work programme of refurbishment and replacement, and our management of the system of defences over the next 100 years. About TEAM2100 TEAM2100 will carry out the first part of the Environment Agency’s Thames Estuary 2100 Plan, which sets out how to manage tidal flood risk in the Thames estuary throughout the 21st century. TEAM2100 will improve tidal flood defences in London, Kent and Essex from 2015 to 2025. For TEAM2100, the Environment Agency has formed an integrated team with engineering and programme management firm CH2MHill, construction partner Balfour Beatty and other specialist contractors. Smartlinks | The Environment Agency | Government and Public Administration | Environment – See more at: http://www.noodls.com/view/D175318EBF3878078ED0957A7861AC5D236DC836?4683xxx1431348769#sthash.dARyMoj3.dpuf

This story certainly appears to be a “Good News” story for American based CH2M HILL’s as another major UK project is handed over to the USA based company.

“Commenting on the contract win CH2M HILL’s Managing Director for Europe, Mark Thurston, said: “We are delighted to have been named delivery partner for the TEAM 2100 Programme. This project is a vital piece of infrastructure that fits closely with our other major programmes in London, including Thames Tideway Tunnel, Crossrail and High Speed 2. Not only will this programme help maintain London as a globally competitive city, it also provides a significant boost to the British engineering sector and the creation of long-term employment in the UK jobs market, with the project requiring skilled engineers throughout the planning, investigation, maintenance and refurbishment works of the next 10 years.”

It remains to be seen whether UK investment into flood prevention will start to bear any relationship to the sums already allocated to flood defence in the Netherlands.

 

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2 responses to ““Good News” Flood Story unusually overlooked by Castle Point Council spokesperson!

  1. Steve Sawkins

    It is comforting to know that the future flood risk to Canvey Island has been recognised and that the present day protection provided by our sea defence will be maintained, funding permitted, well into the next century. There has been some concern that there would be a funding shortfall and when set against the previous statement from the TE2100 program that identified the necessity for improvements, that concern is indeed justified.

    Canvey Island Policy Unit P4 TE2100 Plan states :-
    “It is difficult to predict what conditions will exist in
    the Estuary from 2050 onwards. If climate change
    mitigation worldwide has been unsuccessful, the
    Estuary will look very different indeed and the
    choices for us all will be stark. However, if climate
    change mitigation has been successful then the
    choices will be easier and more varied.
    The TE2100 recommendations for the second half
    of the century, including further intertidal habitat
    requirements, will be made around 2050. They will
    be based on a comprehensive public consultation and
    consideration of our indicators for change at that time.
    The drainage systems on Canvey Island will require
    upgrading as the sea level rises and rainfall
    increases. This will consist of improvements to
    channels and outfalls as the need arises together
    with a programme of upgrading of the outfalls,
    most of which are pumped.
    This has not been covered in detail by the TE2100
    project, but we recommend further investigation and
    this is included in our action plan for Action Zone 7.
    As noted above, in view of the potential difficulty
    of evacuating the island, measures should include
    safe havens, high level access and shelters. This
    will provide the opportunity for people to move to
    safe areas above flood level in the unlikely but
    serious eventuality of tidal flooding.
    The weakest links in any flood defence system are
    the moveable gates. There are three large barriers
    which provide protection to the west and north
    of the island, and a number of smaller gates.
    Replacement of Benfleet, East Haven and
    Fobbing Horse barriers by fixed defences is a
    possibility although it would be a costly option.
    Responses for local flood risk management have
    not been designed or assessed in detail and
    further work will be required at local scheme level.
    Local consultation and appraisal will be required
    at this stage and our action plan includes the
    requirement to identify project partners to assist
    with this detailed development work.”

    • Once again thanks Steve for your contribution.
      You highlight some main issues;

      “The drainage systems on Canvey Island will require
      upgrading as the sea level rises and rainfall
      increases.”

      This requirement is separate from the sea defence scheme appraisal. CPBC Chief Executive highlighted the incapacity to cope, with flooding as a result of a sea defence failure, of the Canvey drainage system.
      The drainage system was seen to be wanting, during the rainfall events of August 2013 and especially July 2014.
      At the Core Strategy Examination, I think you will be well aware, it was the Canvey Green Belt Campaign group representatives that extracted the information from the Environment Agency representative, that funding for the Thames Estuary 2100 sea defence scheme had yet to be funded. Government funding would require support from outside agencies and local government.
      This has been interpreted at Borough level as a need to develop.
      In other words continue developing an already densely urbanised area.

      And it is said that environmentalists should “live in the Real World !”

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