FLOODING: You may get more than you wish for

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If you live in a low lying area adjacent to the North Sea such as The Wash, where large parts of the land is at or below ten metres above sea level and river levels are above that of the surrounding land then you live in an area subject to a risk of flooding.

Flooding may be from the rivers, sea or surface water. The surface water risk is low due to the pumped drainage system.

The flood risk from rivers is low to medium. That is the chance of a flood in any one year is between one in one thousand to one in thirty (0.1 per cent to 3.3 per cent).

The flood risk maps reflect this. Small areas of high flood risk do exist.

The flood risk is based upon the level of defences present.

For planning purposes the flood maps risk assessment is based upon flooding if the defences did not exist. It does influence home insurance costs.

There is not an endless amount of money for all flood risk areas. It is essential to maintain the flood risk assessment as justification to maintain the defences from the increasing risk of flooding due to weather extremes and rising sea levels.

The world sea levels were rising to 1-2.5 mm per year since 1900. Since 1992 this has increased to 3mm per year.Specifically, the North Sea mean sea level has risen by 1.5mm/year over the period 1900 to 2011.

Lowering the risk assessment reduces the weight of evidence in favour of spending money in the Wash Zone.

As has been ably demonstrated by the recent statements that it will not be possible that all flood risk areas can be protected in the future.

You may get more than you wish for.

Mike Harrison

via email