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Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk in Wales
First Report to the Minister, under Section 18 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010
Natural Resources Wales has published its first report to Welsh Ministers on Flood and Coastal Risk Management in Wales.
The report, produced on behalf of the 31 Risk Management Authorities in Wales (comprising of Natural Resources Wales, the 22 Local Authorities, three Internal Drainage Boards and the five Water and Sewerage Companies that operate in Wales), summarises factual information about the progress made between November 2011 and March 2014 with regard to managing the risks from flooding and coastal erosion.
Implementation of strategy
In particular, it reports on the implementation of the Welsh Government’s National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy for Wales (the ‘National FCERM Strategy’) by all Risk Management Authorities.
Standard reference document
This is the first such report. It is expected to become the standard reference document for facts and figures relating to flood and coastal erosion risk management in Wales. Reports of this kind will be produced every two years and aligned with the Welsh Government’s review of its National FCERM Strategy.
The report, compiled from information provided by all 31 Risk Management Authorities, found that £165 million has been invested in flood and coastal protection schemes in Wales in the period between November 2011 and March 2014, to help protect people and property. Despite this investment, flooding in Wales since November 2011 is estimated to have caused over £71 million of damage. This represents a significant impact on people and communities across Wales, as well as a significant impact on the economy and road and rail links.
The report also explores progress made in different aspects of managing flood and coastal erosion in Wales and identifies the major developments that have occurred during the reporting period. Examples of progress include:
- improvements in assessing the location and severity of flood risk
- building and maintaining flood defences
- raising awareness about flooding and preparing community flood plans
- management of the flood and erosion events that occurred
- levels of funding, skills and staffing
- strategic planning for the future
Major flood events
A number of major flood events occurred during the reporting period, including the flooding in Ceredigion and North Wales in 2012 and the winter storms of December 2013 and January 2014. However, the report found that the substantial advances made in terms of collaborative and partnership working within Wales were of particular significance during these flood events.
Good flood defences
Such 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, however, 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.