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  • by Karma Loveday

Small surface water flood teams are deluged and need help – experts warn government

Hard-pressed surface water flood managers need help, according to a new report from the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM).


CIWEM undertook a survey of Risk Management Authorities (RMAs) responsible for managing surface water, most from Lead Local Flood Authorities at unitary authority level and county level.


It found teams to typically be small and “frustrated by unclear duties and remit, complicated funding processes, fragmented data and a lack of capacity and skills”. Half didn’t have locally ring-fenced budgets to manage surface water flooding despite the growing risk from climate change, and three-quarters were struggling to recruit new staff.


CIWEM made a suite of recommendations to government and the Environment Agency. These involved improving engagement and leadership to tackle persistent challenges being faced by RMAs. CIWEM said: “The findings identify areas where improvement can be made, including better cooperation and collaboration between different RMAs working in the same locations, government and the Environment Agency providing better clarity on their expectations for managing surface water flood risk and where and how the different responsibilities fall. This should be underpinned by better data gathering and sharing between the authorities involved.”

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