The new strategy responds to the Foresight programme's recent predictions that over the next 100 years the frequency and severity of flooding will increase, because of climate change and other pressures. It will replace the current strategy for flood and coastal defence, which is now 11 years old.
Solutions mooted in the paper range from the familiar (maintaining and/or improving sea and river walls), to more recent departures in approach that 'make space for water' (eg by creating saltmarsh buffer zones in coastal areas and wetlands in river catchments, where appropriate), to the new and inventive (that some minor, non-strategic roads be used as flood channels in an extreme event, using raised kerbstones to contain the water).
Mr Morley said:
'Climate change means we may well see more and worse flooding in the future. We must factor in and plan for this across the board, working closely with the insurance industry and other interested parties, so that the adverse consequences for people and for business are minimised.'
Government funding of the flood defence programme in England and Wales currently stands at a record£478m and is set to rise to£564m per year for the period 2005-2008.
The consultation closes on 1 November 2004. Subject to the outcome of the consultation exercise, the government hopes to publish a final strategy, containing an action plan and commitments to regular reviews, in early 2005.
The consultation document deals with England only.
Copies of the consultation documents, including a summary leaflet and background papers are available here.
Further information on the strategy development exercise is available via
Defra's Flood Management web pages are indexed at:
A summary of Foresight's Future Flooding report is available at: