The Environment Agency has published a new economic assessment to aid planning for flooding and coastal risk management for the next 50 years. The study uses information on population, climate change and mapping data to set out potential future flood risk scenarios, assessing how funding could be best allocated to meet these challenges.
According to the long-term investment scenarios report, future flood damage to properties and infrastructure in England will rise without sustained investment. It is estimated that an average annual investment of £1 billion will be required up to 2065. The report also highlights how important the annual investment will be to protect infrastructure, including transport and utility networks, as 41% of them are located in flood risk areas. Flooded infrastructure can cause extensive disruption to supply chains, travel and access to key services such as schools and hospitals.
A number of climate change scenarios provide evidence that a course of action and a number of measures are needed over the next half century to ensure that communities are resilient to flooding. These measures can include natural flood management techniques such as tree planting and slowing the flow of water, constructing and maintaining large-scale hard engineered defences and installing property flood resilience measures for homes. Between 2015 and 2021, the Environment Agency is investing £2.6 billion in flood and coastal erosion risk management projects to help protect 300,000 homes from flooding and erosion.
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The Environment Agency and Jacobs have developed an interactive visualizer tool as part of the long-term investment scenarios 2019 project. The LTIS helps policy makers make good investment decisions and as part of the visualizer, the Environment Agency and Jacobs have calculated the potential costs and benefits of different national levels of investment in a range of activities to manage flood risk. The aim of the visualizer is to find the mix of investments that gives the best value for money. To view and use the visualizer, click here.