Defra Consultation

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DEFRA Consultation

DEFRA Consultation


The purpose of this paper is to enlighten and discuss the operational activities of DEFRA related to the flood management programs. This paper aims to explore risk management initiatives designed and implemented by DEFRA in order to avoid flood and other natural calamities in United Kingdom. Nevertheless, this paper also discusses different scenarios of floods in United Kingdom and compares the effectiveness of programs initiated by DEFRA in order to check their validity to cope with future disasters. The Environment Department (DEFRA) is consulting on guidance to help councils prepare surface water management plans (SWMP) for flood-risk areas (Mcglashan, 2003, 102-106). The draft guidance is being tested by six councils preparing pilot SWMP.

The estimate of DEFRA does not take into account flood results from intense local rainfall and overwhelmed drainage systems and aquifers (Johnson, Rowsell, Parker, 2007, 78-82). Understanding of these risks is five to ten years behind that of flooding from rivers and the sea. Up to £150m more a year could be needed to mitigate this by 2035, the agency believes. Two thirds of the major floods of summer 2007 were caused by surface water (Johnson, Rowsell, Parker, 2007, 78-82). In its response last year, the government said the Environment Agency would have overall strategic responsibility for all types of floods but responsibility for coordinating surface water flood management at the local level would rest with councils. The Councils are concerned about the cost of flood risk planning (Mcfadden, 2008, 89-96).

Discussion and Analysis

Glasgow Floods (2002)

The term European floods of 2002 refer to the series of floods in Europe in August 2002, after a week of intense and continuous rains in many central areas of the continent. The flood hit many European countries putting a strain on the local systems involved, killing dozens of people, leaving many thousands homeless and causing damage of billions of Euro in UK (Mcglashan, 2003, 102-106).

Boscastle Flood (2004)

On the morning of the August 16, 2004, a severe thunderstorm raged over southern England by the Boscastle Rivers within an hour leading to two meters increase in the water level. Finally, a four-meter high tidal waves tore through the narrow valley. Over 50 cars and six buildings in the Atlantic were destroyed (Johnson, Rowsell, Parker, 2007, 78-82). Twenty homes were damaged badly that they had to be demolished later. Almost 30 minutes later began one of the largest air rescue operations in British history. Seven SAR helicopters of the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy salvaged more than 150 people from the roofs of their houses. British media later announced the miracle of Boscastle flood resulted in no fatalities even though the flood was devastating (Johnson, Rowsell, Parker, 2007, 78-82). The total damage of the flood in Boscastle was 40 million Pounds. The full reconstruction of the village was expected to last until end 2006.

United Kingdom Floods (2007)

Between June and July 2007, there were a series of major floods in the United Kingdom that killed about eleven people. The estimate of damage was 2,000 million pounds. The most serious inundations occurred in Northern Ireland on June, 12 in the north of North Yorkshire and Midlands on June, 15 in Yorkshire, Midlands, Gloucestershire, ...
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