Flood resilience for UK infrastructure

Posted: Tuesday 2nd March 2010

CIRIA to release final report from unprecedented cross-sector collaborative research project.

CIRIA is pleased to announce the completion of the final report from a major 18-month, collaborative research project Flood resilience and resistance for critical infrastructure, the summary of which will be presented during a reception at Arup’s offices in London, Friday 29th January.

Initiated by CIRIA, and building upon previous collaborative research projects on property-level flood resilience, this exceptional initiative aims to address some of the critical infrastructure issues raised by recent severe flooding in the UK. The Environment Agency’s analysis of the cost of the 2007 floods underlines the importance of continued investment in managing flood risk. The final report, which is the key output from the project, provides an overview of how the flood risk posed to critical infrastructure systems is currently managed across the UK.

The project team of CIRIA and Arup engaged in an extensive consultation phase, involving a workshop and an online survey completed by some of the UK’s leading infrastructure asset owners and operators. The findings of this consultation were incorporated in an extensive review of both national and international practice that formulated the final project report.

Robert Runcie, Environment Agency Director of Flood and Coastal Risk Management, said: "This report shows that operators must be fully prepared to reduce the risk of flooding to their critical infrastructure systems, particularly in light of future climate change. Operators must also continue to invest in business continuity measures for their systems so that essential services can continue even during a flood. "The Environment Agency has today launched a new dedicated flood warning service aimed specifically at infrastructure operators, which issues tailored warnings for specific sites, allowing organisations to take action earlier to protect crucial assets. We urge operators to sign up by contacting Frazer Rhodes on 08708 506 506."

The report provides an overview of the regulatory framework and outlines the key challenges currently facing the industry in this area. A brief introduction is given on the principles of flood risk management and places flood resilience and resistance in a wider context. Also, published case-studies provide lessons learned by infrastructure owners and operators who have suffered flooding problems in the past.

Flood risk management for critical infrastructure across the UK is then considered with respect to

The report goes on to give key conclusions and recommendations for both industry and regulators to further enhance the flood resilience and resistance of the UK’s critical infrastructure.
Click here for the executive summary of the report. A free and full copy will be available to download as of 4th February 2010.
Executive summary:www.ciria.org/service/c688

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