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Question:  When is a consultation not a consultation?

         Answer:  When the consultation is drafted and published, but publicity is restricted!

This consultation on Ministerial Direction for reservoir flood plans is of interest to all individuals and Councils at risk of flooding from reservoir dam or embankment failure.

Defra previously inserted similar proposals into the draft Floods and Water Bill Consultation (Apr-Jul 2009) but due to lack of time they were not incorporated into the Flood and Water Water Management Bill.

In my opinion all reservoir flood plans should be formally integrated within the lead local flood authorities preliminary assessment reports, flood hazard maps, flood risk maps and flood risk management plans.

Defra consultation: Ministerial direction for reservoir flood plans

Consultation starts: Open date: 12 January 2010
Consultation closes: Close date: 6 April 2010

Defra Summary

Reservoirs present a potential flood risk to the downstream area.  England and Wales has an ageing stock of reservoirs, but little is known about the long term strength of these structures. Reservoir failure is a very rare event, although each year there are a number of ‘near misses’ which could have resulted in more serious consequences.

The most prominent recent incident at the Ulley reservoir near Rotherham, South Yorkshire demonstrated the potential impact of a reservoir failure. As a precaution, the M1 motorway was closed and nearby communities evacuated. However, as there was no emergency plan for the reservoir, emergency responders had to act using a river flood map. This reinforced the need for site specific reservoir flood maps and co-ordinated reservoir flood plans which in extreme circumstances could save lives.

This consultation will primarily be relevant to “reservoir undertakers” (owners or operators).  It seeks views on the scope and content of a Ministerial direction requiring reservoir undertakers to prepare a reservoir flood plan


Link to Defra consultation documents and further information:

Ewan's response to Defra reservoir consultation (1.85Mb)

Please look at what happened here in Datchet  Queen Mother Reservoir problem