ICE Flooding 2013: developing flood resilient communites

The need for a proactive strategy to flooding brought the industry together on 23 May at the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Flooding 2013 conference “Developing Flood Resilient Communities.” The event was chaired by David Balmforth, ICE & Inter-Institutional Flooding Group (IIFG).

A keynote address from Richard Benyon MP, Minister for Natural Environment & Fisheries called for expert advice from industry and highlighted the need for a unidirectional approach. Richard agreed that insurance needs to be case specific and responsibilities allocated.

Delegates received presentations on:

  • Urban Development & Flood Resilience
  • Drainage- the backbone of Delivering Resilient Communities
  • Building Flooding Resilience
  • Getting Everyone Working Together

Each session concluded with discussions which identified the problems of the current reactive approach and then relayed solutions. The views amongst the professionals have been collated by CIRIA to create the next steps towards a proactive strategy to flooding:

  • Modify current methods and implement innovative flood resilience measures
  • Become more open to information sharing; collaborate, cooperate and communicate
  • Provide financial incentives to those undertaking flood proofing; provide cheaper insurance for resilience
  • Place emphasis on water logging as well as water flooding
  • Learn innovative flood risk management processes from international examples
  • Verify measures to ensure that Flood resilience products (FRe) are efficiently operated
  • Enforce existing infrastructure resilience; there is a need for evolved regulations
  • Incorporate a long-term pragmatic approach; forward investment planning
  • Adopt and improve sustainable drainage systems (SUDS), tunnels and flip points
  • Invest in flood prevention research and flood resilient products (FRe)
  • Support Guidance that enforces FRe implementation to be mandatory
  • Communicate ‘with’ people rather than ‘to’ people; community involvement
  • Enhance flood warning processes; use local information and social media (i.e. twitter, facebook) to inform communities about floods for increased preparation time
  • Understand that benefits of flood resilience overshadow costs of implementation

Throughout the forum the necessity for drive in, information sharing, financial incentives for incorporation of flood resilience and long-term flood risk management plans was evident. David Balmforth concluded by asking industry to “believe, prepare and act!”

To keep up-to-date with CIRIA’s sustainable water management work, please go to susdrain