A billion pounds is needed to be spent in the UK every year for 50 years to avoid massive flood damage.
A hard-hitting Environment Agency report has outlined the massive investment needed to plan for flooding and coastal risk management over the next 50 years as the population grows and building homes on flood plains is set to double.
And it makes it clear that without the investment the damage will be far more costly. The overall benefit to cost ratio of the new estimates is 9 to 1, which means for every £1 spent on protecting communities around £9 in property damages and wider impacts would be avoided.
The study uses new climate change, population and mapping data to set out potential future scenarios, assessing how the money would be best spent to tackle these challenges.
It reveals that without sustained investment future flood damage to properties and infrastructure in England will significantly increase. It estimates that an average annual investment of a billion pounds will be necessary up to 2065.
The anti-flood measures needed include building and maintaining large-scale engineered defences, natural flood management techniques such as planting trees and slowing the flow of water along with flood resilience to protect homes.
Julie Foley, Director Flood Strategy at the Environment Agency, said: “This report sets out the level of investment we need to consider over the next 50 years alongside the action we need to take to ensure that communities, businesses and vital infrastructure are resilient to flooding and coastal erosion. It will help government, businesses and the insurance industry plan for the future.”
The Environment Agency is investing £2.6 billion in flood and coastal erosion risk management projects between 2015 and 2021, helping to protect 300,000 homes. It’s clear this figure will need to drastically increase in the coming years.
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* Written by Andy Hirst at AH! PR http://www.ah-pr.com/