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The Jubilee River story - Here we go again (July 2007)

23rd July 2007

Here we go again!

With the Thames up another 400mm we are about to be flooded for the second time in under five years.  I object most strongly to fluvial flooding events caused by floodwater moving downstream many days after the precipitation has fallen.  The Environment Agency (who are responsible for flood defence) rejected the opportunity to improve both the defences and the capacity of the Thames in this area, so here we go again!

I have always said 'don't worry about what the Government tell you or even about want they do not tell you, but you should worry about what they dare not tell you.'

In practice the Environment Agency has abandoned watercourse maintenance thus exacerbating the current flood event and it is about time that Barbara Young (Chief Executive of the EA) was asked about EA policy in respect of flooding in flood plain.

Just consider this extract from the Environment Agency's recently published Thames CFMP document:

Managing the risk in a sustainable way

To develop a sustainable and long-term plan for managing the risk, we need to understand how climate change, land use and urban development might change in the future. We also need to look at the impact this will have on people, property and the environment.

In the past the way we have managed flood risk was focussed on flood defence. We built structural defences to try and make flooding happen less often.

We forget that these defences will not always protect us, particularly if a flood is too big or if the defences fail. These defence structures deteriorate with age, and it is becoming more expensive and difficult to maintain and replace them.

A reliance on flood defence is no longer sustainable. We need to move towards managing the risk of flooding. This is more complicated, and to achieve it, we need to work together with more people.

The only way this can be done is by putting into place a range of flood risk management policies that can react to change.

Any decision must meet economic, social, environmental and institutional needs in delivering flood risk management within a catchment, both now and into the future.

The phrase 'A reliance on flood defence is no longer sustainable' is very revealing!

The truth is that the EA have a preference for flood risk management rather than flood defence (because it can be conducted from an office), they have abandoned watercourse maintenance (because it costs money) and they intend for the flood plains to flood (because it is a sustainable solution).

Yours faithfully

Ewan Larcombe
67 Lawn Close
Datchet SL3 9LA

Tel 01753 544302 (home)
Mob 07968 661431

Source document here