Tuesday, 27 November 2012


Right across the UK there are flood warnings and the like.   The government speakers prattle on about how many houses are now protected and how flood barriers are now coming into place whilst at the same time reducing the amount of investment in flood protection.   Actually, I do feel sorry for them because they did inherit an unbelievably large debt from the last government and it must be very difficult to balance the books and decide where money is to be spent.

Insurance companies are refusing to insure properties in flood areas.

Hmmmm.... I wonder if we are looking at this in the right way?    I know dredging rivers is expensive and a long continuous process but we have had a lot more flooding since they stopped doing it.   I heard an Environmental Agency representative saying that the difference is 'marginal' but I think every 'margin' helps, doesn't it?
We also have 'flood plains'.   Could we dig them out and make them into Summer Parks/picnic areas and let them flood in the winter to take a greater amount of water?
Is anyone looking at the runs and flows of the water and where it breaks its banks?   Could we not do what  I have seen in other countries where they have large concrete runs for when the rains come?
Could we not use the weirs and locks to lower the water in, say, October, in preparation for the coming rainy season?
I'm sure others can come up with diversion systems or other ideas rather than rely upon the ever inefficient barrier systems we have now?

As for insurance, we have a postal service that charges the same amount right across the board for mail.  The densely populated areas subsidise the remote country deliveries by averaging out all the costs.   Couldn't the nation do the same with insurance premiums, spreading the cost across ALL the buildings?

One person said it's all caused by the ice melting and all the global climate changing.  Really?  Perhaps I could believe that about coastal areas, but upstream in non-tidal waters?  I think not.

On a final note can someone explain to me why successive governments, who have decreed that there can be no development in Green Belt, have not decreed that there must be no building development in flood plain areas?   Madness.


mikotondria said...

We tend to be - for better or worse - somewhat insular in our outlook, perhaps British culture is so rich that it occupies all the time we can spare, but your point is valid; look abroad for the solution. The world is a huge and diverse place, we tend to forget ours is only a tiny corner. Town planning, land use, waterway management are all being done in a thousand different ways in other places, we need a coherent approach to tracking down the results of those free experiments that we can use successfully here, and political apparatus to make use of them efficiently.
Flood plains are flat areas next to rivers that have been formed by the thousands of times that the river has flooded over history and before; we need to expect that it will continue to do so and build and legislate and finance accordingly. Best of luck with your place, sir, hoping you catch a break and aren't too badly affected, all the best ! :)

A Magic Life said...

I like looking at other countries and how they do things... some good, some bad. The Japanese see something good abroad and 'they make it Japan'.