AREAS OF POTENTIAL HIGHER RISK
Flooding - Floods are mostly natural events that result either from excessive rainfall that leads to rivers overflowing their banks, or from tidal storm surges on the coast or in estuaries. In urban areas, manmade drainage systems may have inadequate capacity or become blocked leading to flooding. Because of climate change, both the chance and consequence of flooding has increased. Sea levels rise more frequent and higher storm surges and increased winter rainfall and more intense summer rainfall will add to existing risk and it may not prove possible to improve fixed defenses sufficiently to maintain or raise protection standards. The Environment Agency (EA) is the lead organisation on flood defence, and reports at policy level to the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA). This work, together with the Agency’s overall direction and supervision of all aspects of flood defence, is vital for sustaining the existing land use found on river and coastal flood plains.