Tag Archives: 2014 flooding

Canvey Island and the Scrutiny of The RISING TIDE of FLOOD RISK!

We were present to witness Essex County Council Highways representative, holding his hands up in apology for his agency’s failure to carry out adequate drainage clearance, leading up to the Canvey Island flooding during the summer of 2014.

He made a promise, in public during the Castle Point Council Scrutiny meeting into the causes of the 2014 floods, that this would not happen again and that regular maintenance would be carried out so as to prevent a repetition of the Surface Water Flooding that so many residents suffered.

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Canvey residents are now seeing that words are cheap, and the results of the continued lack of ECC Regular Drainage Maintenance allowing drains and road gullies to become silted up. The previous regime of maintenance, in which operatives will attend if residents make repeated calls for action, appears to remain the norm!

This is asking for trouble on a basically flat Island with a “complicated” drainage system reliant on gravity to feed water to the pumping system.

Climate Change deniers amongst those in positions within local authorities, are blind to the changing weather patterns and rising sea levels. They abstain from making difficult decisions on the Distribution of Housing Growth, and delay from investing adequate resources in Flood Defences, compare Dutch standards with our own.

Human nature directs them to rely on the chances of a Flooding Event occurring is less likely than, more likely. A Carry on Building Regardless policy, with increasing population being put at Risk!

And yet these local decision-makers should know full well that the insurance umbrella by the name of FLOOD Re, will NOT cover dwellings built since January 2009!

FLOOD Re representatives explained that their product was not intended to encourage development within Flood Risk areas, quite the opposite, it was intended to encourage more sensible and safer development site selection.

“Historical data shows that the proportion of residential properties located in an area previously subject to a flood event was on average 5% per local authority in England and Wales.

The question is: why, when most experts agree that the number of severe weather incidents is only likely to increase as a result of climate change?”

Unfortunately Local Plan Policies drawn up by Castle Point Council prefer much, much higher percentages than 5% when selecting sites for their Housing Growth Distribution!

Emanuela Barbiroglio writes in her article “The Rising Tide of Flood Risk” for Property Week;

Councils also receive advice from the Environment Agency, which comments on all proposals for major development in areas at medium or high risk of flooding. It says that with the majority of such planning applications its advice is taken on board.

And yet we should all be aware that Castle Point Borough Council have come to an arrangement with the Environment Agency where Canvey Island is considered a “Special Case” where development in a Flood Zone 3 is concerned!

The Environment Agency leave CPBC to take the final decision on concerns over Tidal and Surface Water Flood Risk, and Residents Safety and well being, and the development’s safety are concerned!

Emanuela Barbiroglio’s enlightening article, “The Rising Tide of Flood Risk” can be found via this LINK.

The Canvey Multi Agency dedicated Flood web site can be found via this LINK, although much appears stuck in 2015! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10 Golden Rules for Managing Floods – Canvey Island Pass or Fail?

The recent storms and flooding that has affected ours and other regions of the UK, has meant valuable resources being distributed in a reactive fashion rather than a preventive strategic led approach to spending.

Locally there was the expectation that the 2013 and 2014 flooding at Canvey Island and the ensuing high level Report would lead to Government funding being allocated to the tune of £24,500,000 so that the Island’s drainage would be brought up to an acceptable standard.

Flooding in other areas and a long list of outstanding flood prevention work has put paid to the Canvey drainage improvements.

A report has been released suggesting a strategic approach focussing on 10 golden rules. As Canvey Island is prone to surface water flooding and at Risk from Tidal Flooding, all 10 Golden Rules should apply.

How many of these 10 golden rules Fail locally?

With many families across the UK still dealing with the consequences of last winter’s flooding, the International Journal of River Basin Management has just published 10 ‘golden rules’ for strategic flood management (SFM).

Written by an international team of experts, the study provides an overview of emerging good practice in strategic flood management (SFM), as well as a historical overview of the events – like the Boxing Day tsunami – that have changed approaches to flood management forever. It also discusses the purpose and goals of today’s SFM and the inevitable challenges associated with its implementation.

While the authors acknowledge the ‘remarkable progress in cultivating the concepts of flood risk management’ that has taken place over the last few decades, they also recognise that ‘the challenge now is to turn the now commonly accepted concepts of managing risks and promoting opportunities into common flood-management practice’.

The authors argue that SFM can play a pivotal role in promoting desired ‘societal, environmental and economic outcomes’. In contrast to the often narrowly defined single-objective nature of flood control, they observe that SFM places an emphasis not only on reducing risk (to people, economics and the environment) but also on seeking opportunities to working with natural processes and promoting multiple benefits across a range of criteria (ecological, societal and economic).

Sound flood management planning requires an effective collaborative solution, which ‘blurs the distinction between the disciplines of spatial, coastal zone, river basin and water resources planning as well as flood defence engineering and environmental management.’

The research concludes with a list of 10 ‘golden rules’ that are central to achieving sound SFM in practice. These are:

1. Accept that absolute protection is not possible and plan for exceedance.
2. Promote some flooding as desirable.
3. Base decisions on an understanding of risk and uncertainty.
4. Recognize that the future will be different from the past.
5. Do not rely on a single measure, but implement a portfolio of responses.
6. Utilize limited resources efficiently and fairly to reduce risk.
7. Be clear on responsibilities for governance and action.
8. Communicate risk and uncertainty effectively and widely.
9. Promote stakeholder participation in the decision-making process.
10. Reflect local context and integrate with other planning processes.

(For further explanation of these ’10 golden rules’ please view the full article online)

This fascinating paper is the result of extensive international collaboration, and draws on evidence from around the world. It comprehensively discusses all of the challenges of dealing with flood risk and water management in large-scale and complex environments; and it is essential reading for all water management professionals and government officials seeking to manage and mitigate the risk of future flooding.

Read the full article, free of charge, online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15715124.2014.902378

“Strategic flood management: ten ‘golden rules’ to guide a sound approach”, by Paul Sayers et al., International Journal of River Basin Management, 2014, published by Routledge, Taylor & Francis.