Principality needs more funds for flood defence

Investment in flood defences in Wales needs to triple to around £135M a year by 2035 to continue protecting properties from flooding and climate change in the principality, according to a new report by the Environment Agency Wales (EAW).

In the report, In its ‘Future Flooding in Wales: Flood Defences, EAW said the increase in investment would allow the current standard of protection for properties at risk of flooding from rivers and the sea to be maintained under the additional pressures anticipated with climate change such as rising sea levels, increased rainfall and more rapid rates of coastal erosion.

Around one in nine homes and businesses in Wales are currently at risk of flooding from rivers and the sea and around £44M was invested last year in building and maintaining flood defences to protect them.

EAW is responsible for some 1,800 miles of flood defences and 5,500 sluices, outfalls, floodgates and barriers in Wales.

Almost all funding for flood and coastal erosion management currently comes from the Welsh Assembly Government.

Chris Mills, EAW director, said: “We have an overview of the risks and investment needs across Wales through our high level long-term plans, we need to work even more with local communities, the local authorities and others who can help to come up with local solutions on how to cope with increased flooding in the future. It’s community engagement on a scale that we’ve never undertaken before; it’s about helping communities to help themselves and to be better prepared.

“Although flooding can never be entirely prevented, being prepared for flood can make the difference between inconvenience and complete devastation.”

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