Natural Resources Wales has published its second report to Welsh Ministers on Flood and Coastal Risk Management in Wales.
The report, produced on behalf of all Risk Management Authorities operating in Wales (comprising of Natural Resources Wales, Local Authorities and the Water and Sewerage Companies that operate in Wales), provides an update of investment, key developments and operational improvements made during the period April 2014 and March 2016.
Implementation of strategy
The report also provides an update to Welsh Ministers on progress made in implementing the Welsh Government’s Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy.
Standard reference document
This follows on from the first report, published in August 2014 and is expected to remain as the standard reference document for facts and figures relating to flood and coastal erosion risk management in Wales.
The third report, due for publication in 2019 will cover the period April 2016 to Dec 2018. This is a longer reporting period than the standard 2 years in order to align with the Welsh Government’s review of its National FCERM Strategy currently underway.
The report is compiled from information provided by all Risk Management Authorities in Wales and demonstrates that £116 million has been invested in flood and coastal risk management and resource between April 2014 and March 2016. This has helped to reduce flood risk to over 5000 homes and businesses, as well as critical infrastructure.
Major flood events
During the reporting period, there were significant flood events across the UK and in 2015, Wales experienced the wettest December on record, with 1016mm of rainfall at Capel Curig, Conwy (source Met office). However, despite the large quantities of rain, widespread flooding in Wales was not experienced.
Good flood defences
Heavy rainfall and storm events have shown how well flood defences in Wales work to protect communities and that Risk Management Authorities, communities and other organisations, worked together efficiently to reduce the impacts of flooding.
It is clear that the national network of flood defences and the responses of Risk Management Authorities and other organisations, are likely to be severely tested during major flood events. More needs to be done to ensure that communities and infrastructures across Wales are more resilient to flooding and coastal erosion in the future.
The report therefore also provides a summary of how RMAs are looking at and increasingly implementing alternatives to traditional flood risk management measures in order to tackle pressures such as climate change and increase resilience for those most vulnerable communities. There has also been an increasing awareness and understanding of how such pressures can be tackled by using a range of flood mitigation measures, by joining resources and through collaborative working with partners to achieve common goals.