Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

ASSEMBLY WARNS OF GROUNDWATER FLOODING RISK

  • Comment
London is at risk of severe flooding unless water levels under the capital are properly controlled. Pumping water f...
London is at risk of severe flooding unless water levels under the capital are properly controlled. Pumping water from underneath London has reduced considerably since the decline of the industrial sector in the 1960s. However, the water continues to rise and it is eroding the thick layer of clay that prevents it from seeping to the surface. The situation has not been properly managed for most of the last 40 years.
Members of the London assembly environment committee were recently told by GARDIT [the General Aquifer Research and Development Team responsible for investigating means of bringing groundwater levels under control] that 70 mega litres of water per day must be pumped out to prevent flooding or damage to London's infrastructure and deep tunnels and sewers. The foundations of tall buildings are also in danger from rising water levels. London Underground currently pumps out 30,000 cubic metres of water a day from its tunnels, that's enough to fill around 3,000 swimming pools, and roughly 4,500 litres of this is removed from Victoria Station alone.
GARDIT, which is in the third year of its five-year investigation, is successfully tackling the problem by drilling boreholes across London to extract the water. So far seven boreholes have been activated in Merton, Streatham, Honour Oak, Wanstead, Brixton, Battersea and Islington.
However, the committee is extremely concerned that no provision has been made to address the rising groundwater issue in 'Towards a London Plan', the Mayor's initial Spatial Development Strategy document. Members also expressed concern that it is not possible to identify clearly who will be responsible for ensuring that groundwater levels are kept under control when GARDIT is disbanded after its five-year investigation.
Samantha Heath, chair of the environment committee, said: 'Many new and exciting buildings could save London from flooding and put this water to good use, for example in air conditioning systems. The GLA has already made plans to do this in our new building at More London. The committee is concerned that GARDIT has only a five-year plan and provision must be made to investigate the potential situation in ten or 20 years time. Londoners will need to be assured that the risk from flooding is properly considered in the mayor's London Plan. We need to encourage new developments to take this issue into account.'
Note
GARDIT - General Aquifer Research and Development Team is a consortium of organisations including: Thames Water Utilities, The Environment Agency, London Underground, The Metropolitan Water Company, British Telecom, Association of British Insurers, British Property Federation, Loss Prevention Council, Government Office for London, Railtrack and the Cities of London and Westminster.
  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.