A joined-up approach to widespread flooding

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The devastating results brought about by the winter floods of late 2013/early 2014 have left an indelible mark in the consciousness of the British public. An event that caused so much destruction to our environment, economy and transport, and most regrettably of all, human life, has placed the UK flood industry under a microscope for us to analyse every detail possible.

To ensure history never repeats itself, wide strides as opposed to small steps need to be taken to overcome the challenges faced by the flood industry and to promulgate the research and innovation in defence technology and prevention strategies.

I believe that promoting understanding of the risks we face both now and in the future, developing cost effective solutions that can be adapted in the years to come, and accessible funding and insurance cover in order to implement new water resilience developments are prominent features in what is a lengthy list of challenges.


As with planning any large scale strategy, co-operation is of paramount importance if fruitful results are to be achieved. In this case, the water companies, internal drainage boards, local authorities, the Environment Agency, and pertinent government departments need to work together, along with landowners and residents, to find solutions. To arrive at this point we require landscape architects, architects, engineers, hydrologists, ecologists and other specialists to build an arsenal of knowledge and blend their expertise together to find an effective result.


I can’t stress the importance of mobilising the joint expertise of the Environment Agency and members of other organisations in building an empire of knowledge to reduce the dreadful effects flooding has on our environment.

The damage wreaked upon wildlife and ecosystems will leave us with a truly devastating environmental incident we will struggle to recover from. Species are being lost through drowning, a lack of food, and water contamination. Further disruptions to drainage systems will occur, and our sewer systems will be overwhelmed. If powerful enough, destructing buildings will cause the release of a potent array of toxic materials into the local environment.

I’m a passionate advocate for society to wise up to the threat we face from floods; we need to focus on what happened in 2014, resist the trap of complacency and ensure we have the measures in place to avoid future disasters.


Uniting the researchers, experts, innovators and pioneers and developing a cross-departmental platform will have a perennially significant impact in our effort to prevent what I believe is an avoidable situation.

The Flood Expo is an annual conference and exhibition specifically designed for the flood industry, promoting the technology, theories and strategies in preventing, predicting and defending against flooding.

This year, 2,500 visitors will witness the measures being taken by the industry’s innovators, researchers and thought leaders at Excel London on 14-15 October. The event allows industry representatives to exchange views on the latest developments and findings in the fields of research, innovation, and defence and prediction strategy, as well as learn from case studies from all over the globe.

To register for free tickets, please visit the website