The impact of reduced public funding for flood defences will demand a more innovative approach to managing flood risk, the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) has warned.
Only £2 billion has been allocated by the Coalition Government for flood defence investment over the four years from 2011 to 2015, compared with £2.15 billion by the previous government, over the three years from 2008 to 2011.
David Balmforth, who leads ICE’s work on flooding comments: “While we welcome the Government’s recognition of the importance of maintaining the UK’s investment in flood risk management, we would have liked to see the level of funding more adequately reflect historical investment.”
The Institution is also concerned that current investment in addressing sewer flooding may not be maintained in future water company spending plans.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has already responded to the future flood defence budget, saying that a long-term plan to tackle the flood risk faced by the UK over the next 25 years is “urgently needed”.
The ABI has also pointed out that the Statement of Principles on Flood Insurance comes to an end in 2013.
The Statement was agreed between ABI members and ministers in 2007 and broadly contained a promise by insurers to continue to underwrite flood risks in return for investment in the UK’s flood defence network.