Flood risk and the adaption to it has perhaps never been so well funded in the UK, and yet flooding from groundwater is poorly understood, barely monitored, often not anticipated and very difficult to deal with. It can be hugely devastating due to the longer durations associated with high groundwater levels, but never draws significant attention or funding as it affects pockets of communities across certain geological areas.
Over a period of 6 years and with £7.3 million of initial funding, Project Groundwater aims to innovate and improve in all areas of risk management, from both the perspective of the risk management authorities and also that of the affected communities. Project Groundwater is led by Programme Manager, Jed Ramsay, from Buckinghamshire Council’s Strategic Flood Management Team.
At WATER MANAGEMENT Smart Class 2022, Jed outlined how Bucks are working through a large scale partnership with 33 organisations (ranging from Thames Water, Isle Utilities, the Environment Agency and the Forestry Commission to other local authorities such as Hertfordshire and Oxfordshire County Councils, Luton and Slough Borough Councils, and West Berkshire District Council) to develop, trial and adopt improved practices in how groundwater flooding is managed. This covers areas of monitoring, mapping, modelling, warning, responding, prevention, resilience and damage reduction, plus an emphasis on research, evaluation and legacy. Technology to assist innovation, for example, includes military drone repurposing and deploying the CatsEye Smart Gully to retrofit water level measurement for road drains.
Jed was joined for this keynote presentation by Tom de la Rosa, who manages the Environment Agency’s £200 million flood and coastal innovation programmes (FCIP). Tom provided an initial introduction to the national context of the FCRIP (Flood and resilience innovation programme) and its ambition to 2027. As part of the FCIP, £150 million is being invested into the FCRIP to develop, test and implement practical and innovative resilience actions in 25 local areas.
Tom highlighted projects in Cumbria (NFM, Blended Finance, Community resilience – working with landowners to create opportunity mapping for NFM and new funding approaches); Rochdale (Property flood resilience Insurance – piloting ways of using flood insurance to alleviate flood poverty in deprived communities); Doncaster (Urban SuDS – identifying 90% cost savings by using innovative manhole sensors, to monitor surface water sewer flows); Cornwall (Sand dune protection – identifying sand dune sites to provide long-term protection to coastal communities); and Norfolk (Community Coastal Transition – developing an integrated investment strategy between communities, local authorities and business, to fund long term action on adaptation community coastal transition).
If you meet our regular delegate qualification criteria but were unable to join us at The BCEC, Birmingham, for the live in-person event on November 10th, CLICK HERE and complete the short “Download form” (located at the bottom of the post) to receive a unique link enabling free access to the presentation video recordings and slides (including the film footage and slides from Tom and Jed’s joint keynote).
Those qualifying to receive the rich presentation content from this event include commissioning, procurement, innovation, trialling and partnering leads, senior influencers, strategic decision makers, environmental managers, policy makers and planners from UK water companies and utilities, wastewater and sewer operators, lead local flood authorities (unitary authorities and county councils), city/borough/metropolitan councils, district councils, combined authorities, highways authorities, prime contractors, general insurers, large water consumers, central governmental and regulatory bodies (e.g. Defra, DCLG, Ofwat, Environment Agency, DWI, SEPA), independent industry and consumer organisations (e.g. Water UK, CCW) etc.