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Managing Flood Risk: Who is Involved? A comprehensive list of roles and responsibilities

Source: Managing flood risk: roles and responsibilities | Local Government Association

Risk Management Authorities (RMAs)

Watch the video to see the key roles and responsibilities each risk management authority and stakeholder is responsible for.

Read each section below to see a comprehensive list of all roles and responsibilities.



Environment Agency (EA)

  • Responsible for flood and coastal erosion risk management activities on main rivers and the coast, and regulating reservoir safety.
  • Work with Lead Local Flood Authorities (LLFAs) and coastal groups to oversee flood and coastal erosion risk management and reduce risk to communities, coastlines, and habitats.
  • Deliver the Flood Warning Service to communities and areas at flood risk from rivers and the sea.
  • Produce and update publicly available flood risk maps and information for main rivers, surface water, reservoir and groundwater flooding.
  • Develop and deliver flood risk management projects to protect properties.
  • Strategic oversight of all sources of flood risk and the development of the flood and coastal erosion risk management (FCERM) strategy.
  • Regulate flood risk activity on main rivers and the coast, inspect areas of concern, intervene with emergency maintenance and enforcement to reduce flood risk, and encourage compliance with riparian landowners.
  • Undertake regulation, surveillance and inspection of reservoirs and ensure owner and operator requirements are met, and flood plans are produced for certain reservoirs, particularly high risk where uncontrolled release of water could pose a danger to life.
  • Provide evidence, advice, information, and tools to risk management authorities involving FCERM and act as a statutory consultee on planning and development applications.
  • Share knowledge and best practice with others involved in FCERM.

Image: The Flood Hub



Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA)

  • Lead on managing flood risk from surface water, ordinary watercourses, and groundwater.
  • Ensure partnership working between RMAs in their area to manage flood risk.
  • Maintain a register of flood risk assets.
  • Undertake Section 19 flood investigation reports.
  • Regulation of flood risk activity for ordinary watercourses, the issuing consents, or enforcing of riparian landowner responsibilities in regard to in or above stream structures, bridges and channel maintenance and ensuring proper flow is maintained.
  • Undertake a lead role in emergency planning to help keep communities safe.
  • Lead on flood recovery.

Image: The Flood Hub



Borough/ District Council

  • Undertake partnership work with RMAs.
  • Act as local planning authority in respect of planning and development decisions.
  • Support Lead Local Flood Authorities and other agencies when undertaking flood risk management duties in their area.
  • Undertake flood risk management works on minor watercourses (outside of Internal Drainage Board areas).



Coastal Protection Authorities (Borough or District Council)

  • Lead on the development of shoreline management plans (SMPs) for their section of coastline.
  • Lead on flood and coastal erosion risk management activities in their area.



Water Companies

  • Maintain and manage clean and wastewater services, infrastructure and assets within their region and reduce the risk of flooding and pollution.
  • Liaise with Lead Local Flood Authorities and provide advice on how water company assets impact on local flood risk.
  • Liaise and work in partnership with risk management authorities to coordinate water and sewer system works with flood risk management works.
  • Work with developers, landowners and lead local flood authorities to understand and manage the risk of flooding from surface water and sewer networks.



Internal Drainage Boards (IDBs)

  • Manage water levels in ordinary watercourses, low lying areas, and groundwater.
  • Improve and maintain ordinary watercourses, drainage channels and pumping stations to reduce the risk of flooding.
  • Supervise land drainage and flood defence works on ordinary watercourses.
  • Ensure landowners maintain proper flow and maintenance of ordinary watercourses within internal drainage districts.



Highways Authorities

  • Lead on managing highway drainage and maintenance.
  • Liaise and cooperate with risk management authorities to ensure flood risk management activities are coordinated.
  • National Highways manage highways drainage and maintenance on motorways and major A roads.

Image: The Flood Hub