‘Don't put other places at risk just to protect Oxford from flooding’

thisisoxfordshire: Flooding in Abingdon earlier this month Flooding in Abingdon earlier this month

TOWNS downstream of Oxford have warned new flood defences for the city can’t be allowed to dump the problem on them.

Downing Street is being lobbied by local MPs and council leaders over plans for a £123m Western Conveyance channel running from north of Botley Road to Sandford Lock south of the city.

But fears have been raised that Abingdon, Wallingford and other areas south of the city could end up being hit in the way critics in flood-ravaged Wraysbury in Berkshire say the £110m Jubilee River near Windsor did.

Abingdon Town Council leader Sandy Lovatt said: “Oxford acts as a little bit of a sponge. If the channel is going to dump it straight into the river over Abingdon, it is going to be a bit of a tidal wave.

“I am sure Wallingford, Henley and Marlow are saying the same thing. You can’t just push the problem down the river.

“We are not Abingdon-under-Thames, we are still Abingdon-on-Thames.”

Mayor of Wallingford Bernard Stone agreed, saying: “We are justifiably concerned about it. Logic tells me if you build a relief channel to get the water downstream quicker you are going to get a greater volume of water downstream.”

To try to address these fears, Abingdon and Oxford West MP Nicola Blackwood is today meeting the Environment Agency, leader of Vale of White Horse District Council Matthew Barber and chairwoman of the Thames Regional Flood and Coastal Committee Amanda Nobbs.

They will be discussing at the Vale’s offices in Abingdon what the impact is likely to be on the town and what measures should be put in place to stop river levels rising.

Ms Blackwood said: “While the Western Conveyance appears to be the right scheme to protect Oxford and nearby villages from flooding, Abingdon residents must have complete confidence that it will not put them at further risk.

“This meeting is about ensuring that Abingdon is properly protected from flooding and properly represented as discussions about long-term flood defences continue.”

A proposed £2m flood protection scheme for Abingdon is expected to be announced today as part of the project – increasing the cost of the Western Conveyance channel from £123m to £125m.

Mr Barber said: “I wouldn’t like to go as far as saying that getting flood defences is a condition of my support for the Western Conveyance, but clearly they should be part of it and that’s the purpose of the meeting.”

Concerned residents in Abingdon and Wallingford, some of who were flooded in 2007, say they are worried it could raise the risk of being flooded again if the Environment Agency scheme goes ahead.

Abingdon resident Michila Lomas was flooded in her Turberville Close home in 2007.

The 44-year-old mum-of-two said: “It would make us even more nervous. Unless they sort it out, I would be totally against it.”

Clifton Hampden resident Julie Pearson, who lives at the Bridge House Caravan Site, has been left stranded at home by the floods twice so far this year for several days at a time.

Mrs Pearson, 62, said: “If they did what they are saying, it could be worse. They have got to take other people into consideration.”

Experts said there would be some changes downstream if the scheme went ahead.

David Ramsbottom, technical director of flood management at hydraulics company HR Wallingford, reviewed the model for the planned Western Conveyance Channel in 2006.

He said: “It is inevitable there could be some changes. You are reducing the amount of water stored in the floodplain around Oxford which could mean an increase in the level downstream.”

He said water levels could go up by a few millimetres.

Environment Agency spokesman Joe Giacomelli said: “The scheme is in the proposal stage but we would not consider building a flood alleviation scheme that increases flood risk to any communities.”

Meanwhile, the Environment Agency has said Oxfordshire remains in the low-risk category and will do so today also.

There will be some rainfall today and more bad weather on Sunday.

Flood warnings in place for the Osney, Botley and Kings Lock areas were lifted yesterday evening.

Comments (22)

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9:55am Fri 21 Feb 14

angelox99 says...

Abingdon Town Council leader Sandy Lovatt

You stole my joke about renaming Abingdon on Thames to Abingdon-under-Thame
s!!
Abingdon Town Council leader Sandy Lovatt You stole my joke about renaming Abingdon on Thames to Abingdon-under-Thame s!! angelox99
  • Score: 0

10:21am Fri 21 Feb 14

Soggybotham says...

How about Abingdunder?
How about Abingdunder? Soggybotham
  • Score: 1

11:54am Fri 21 Feb 14

semi-detached layby says...

The Oxford flood bypass will send floods to Abingdon sooner, but not in greater quantity.. The beauty of local storage of water on flood plains is that when there is a huge storm affecting the whole length of the Thames, water released from the upper reaches of the river arrives at downriver locations considerably late than water released from the vicinity of the downriver locations, so hopefully by the time the upriver water reaches downriver, the downriver water has already subsided.

If Oxford gets a bypass, the water arrives downriver at the very time when the water level downriver is at its highest - hence it becomes higher still. Oxford can't opt out of its share of the water storage.

A particular problem will occur with the Rivers Ock and Stert in Abingdon. The more rapid arrival of water down the Oxford ByPass will make the Thames peak in Abingdon a couple of days earlier. That might easily coincide with peak flooding from the Stert and Ock, making it harder for water to exit each of those small rivers is they arrive at the Thames. In normal floods at present, both Stert and Ock peak before the Thames peaks in Abingdon so the water enters the Thames more easily. Residents living near these two rivers should be particularly upset by the Oxford Water Bypass proposal.
The Oxford flood bypass will send floods to Abingdon sooner, but not in greater quantity.. The beauty of local storage of water on flood plains is that when there is a huge storm affecting the whole length of the Thames, water released from the upper reaches of the river arrives at downriver locations considerably late than water released from the vicinity of the downriver locations, so hopefully by the time the upriver water reaches downriver, the downriver water has already subsided. If Oxford gets a bypass, the water arrives downriver at the very time when the water level downriver is at its highest - hence it becomes higher still. Oxford can't opt out of its share of the water storage. A particular problem will occur with the Rivers Ock and Stert in Abingdon. The more rapid arrival of water down the Oxford ByPass will make the Thames peak in Abingdon a couple of days earlier. That might easily coincide with peak flooding from the Stert and Ock, making it harder for water to exit each of those small rivers is they arrive at the Thames. In normal floods at present, both Stert and Ock peak before the Thames peaks in Abingdon so the water enters the Thames more easily. Residents living near these two rivers should be particularly upset by the Oxford Water Bypass proposal. semi-detached layby
  • Score: 3

12:12pm Fri 21 Feb 14

King Joke says...

Yes, a bypass for Oxford will simply flood other areas more quickly. The same of course is true of dredging. The calls for more dredging recently have completely missed the point that flooding is caused by too much water and building on flood plains, not lack of 'action' by the authorities in terms of dredging. It's easy to point the blame at the EA and other authorities but when faced with too much water there isn't much you can do.
Yes, a bypass for Oxford will simply flood other areas more quickly. The same of course is true of dredging. The calls for more dredging recently have completely missed the point that flooding is caused by too much water and building on flood plains, not lack of 'action' by the authorities in terms of dredging. It's easy to point the blame at the EA and other authorities but when faced with too much water there isn't much you can do. King Joke
  • Score: 3

1:20pm Fri 21 Feb 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

King Joke wrote:
Yes, a bypass for Oxford will simply flood other areas more quickly. The same of course is true of dredging. The calls for more dredging recently have completely missed the point that flooding is caused by too much water and building on flood plains, not lack of 'action' by the authorities in terms of dredging. It's easy to point the blame at the EA and other authorities but when faced with too much water there isn't much you can do.
Unless that bypass incorporated a substantial leisure and rowing lake in the Hinksey area...

Active water level management would help people living both in Oxford and downstream.

The various Oxford "activist" groups would no doubt be outraged though.
[quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: Yes, a bypass for Oxford will simply flood other areas more quickly. The same of course is true of dredging. The calls for more dredging recently have completely missed the point that flooding is caused by too much water and building on flood plains, not lack of 'action' by the authorities in terms of dredging. It's easy to point the blame at the EA and other authorities but when faced with too much water there isn't much you can do.[/p][/quote]Unless that bypass incorporated a substantial leisure and rowing lake in the Hinksey area... Active water level management would help people living both in Oxford and downstream. The various Oxford "activist" groups would no doubt be outraged though. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: -4

1:25pm Fri 21 Feb 14

King Joke says...

You're on form today mate. Rowing lakes are 4' deep if that - pretty useless in terms of level management. We've got a perfectly good rowing facility called the Thames. It's unusable during flooding but then so would be a rowing lake connected to the local river system. The best thing to do is to leave flood meadows as they are and not to contemplate building anything on them. THis goes for any low-lying greenfield land... like the Northern Gateway.
You're on form today mate. Rowing lakes are 4' deep if that - pretty useless in terms of level management. We've got a perfectly good rowing facility called the Thames. It's unusable during flooding but then so would be a rowing lake connected to the local river system. The best thing to do is to leave flood meadows as they are and not to contemplate building anything on them. THis goes for any low-lying greenfield land... like the Northern Gateway. King Joke
  • Score: 4

3:24pm Fri 21 Feb 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

King Joke wrote:
You're on form today mate. Rowing lakes are 4' deep if that - pretty useless in terms of level management. We've got a perfectly good rowing facility called the Thames. It's unusable during flooding but then so would be a rowing lake connected to the local river system. The best thing to do is to leave flood meadows as they are and not to contemplate building anything on them. THis goes for any low-lying greenfield land... like the Northern Gateway.
I think you must be confusing metric and imperial...

The purpose-built rowing lake at Dorney is a minimum 3.5 metres deep.
[quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: You're on form today mate. Rowing lakes are 4' deep if that - pretty useless in terms of level management. We've got a perfectly good rowing facility called the Thames. It's unusable during flooding but then so would be a rowing lake connected to the local river system. The best thing to do is to leave flood meadows as they are and not to contemplate building anything on them. THis goes for any low-lying greenfield land... like the Northern Gateway.[/p][/quote]I think you must be confusing metric and imperial... The purpose-built rowing lake at Dorney is a minimum 3.5 metres deep. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: -1

3:35pm Fri 21 Feb 14

yabbadabbadoo256 says...

Yes bypass the whole area with a Western Conveyance channel and dump the contents in the Houses of Parliment..
Yes bypass the whole area with a Western Conveyance channel and dump the contents in the Houses of Parliment.. yabbadabbadoo256
  • Score: 2

4:29pm Fri 21 Feb 14

King Joke says...

What would the difference be between 3.5 m operational depth and flood storage depth? It's only that that's going to make a difference. Offset against the vehicle parking, and pavilion building encouraging run-off, I couldn't see a rowing lake making much of a positive impact.
What would the difference be between 3.5 m operational depth and flood storage depth? It's only that that's going to make a difference. Offset against the vehicle parking, and pavilion building encouraging run-off, I couldn't see a rowing lake making much of a positive impact. King Joke
  • Score: 1

4:42pm Fri 21 Feb 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

King Joke wrote:
What would the difference be between 3.5 m operational depth and flood storage depth? It's only that that's going to make a difference. Offset against the vehicle parking, and pavilion building encouraging run-off, I couldn't see a rowing lake making much of a positive impact.
That's all down to planning.

If it was the depth of a metre. Same length, but half the width of Dornay, it would be storage capacity of around 20 million gallons of water.
[quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: What would the difference be between 3.5 m operational depth and flood storage depth? It's only that that's going to make a difference. Offset against the vehicle parking, and pavilion building encouraging run-off, I couldn't see a rowing lake making much of a positive impact.[/p][/quote]That's all down to planning. If it was the depth of a metre. Same length, but half the width of Dornay, it would be storage capacity of around 20 million gallons of water. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: -4

4:49pm Fri 21 Feb 14

King Joke says...

Sounds like a lot but what's the hourly flow rate of the Thames at the moment, including all the alternative channels it's found?

Building on the flood plain is a sh't idea in general, and I wouldn't believe a bloody word the developers said if they said their scheme would help alleviate flooding.
Sounds like a lot but what's the hourly flow rate of the Thames at the moment, including all the alternative channels it's found? Building on the flood plain is a sh't idea in general, and I wouldn't believe a bloody word the developers said if they said their scheme would help alleviate flooding. King Joke
  • Score: 4

5:52pm Fri 21 Feb 14

Sophia says...

Here's an idea. Build the bypass but the water doesnt go down to Abingdon - it's freeze dried and sold to California, where it is reconstituted to solve their water problem. Everyone wins!

From the Eric Pickles Think Tank
Here's an idea. Build the bypass but the water doesnt go down to Abingdon - it's freeze dried and sold to California, where it is reconstituted to solve their water problem. Everyone wins! From the Eric Pickles Think Tank Sophia
  • Score: 3

7:24pm Fri 21 Feb 14

train passenger says...

Maybe we just have to give up on some smaller towns downstream. There is a price for everything.....just kidding. On another note, I can't believe how easily people blame 'building on flood plains' for the floods, when it is obvious that almost none of the houses that come under water are new-builds. These houses have been around for decades, if not centuries. Crumbling infrastructure is to blame, not a few houses.
Maybe we just have to give up on some smaller towns downstream. There is a price for everything.....just kidding. On another note, I can't believe how easily people blame 'building on flood plains' for the floods, when it is obvious that almost none of the houses that come under water are new-builds. These houses have been around for decades, if not centuries. Crumbling infrastructure is to blame, not a few houses. train passenger
  • Score: 1

8:37pm Fri 21 Feb 14

AlanAudio says...

Speeding excess water on it's way to our neighbours downstream is not the answer. What we need to do is to control the amount of floodwater getting into our rivers in the first place by retaining more of it on the flood plains and managing those areas so that the floodwater is dissipated better into the soil by increasing the number of trees in those areas.

It would be absurd to have a scheme that solves the problem for Oxford, but worsens it for everybody else. We need solutions that work for everybody.
Speeding excess water on it's way to our neighbours downstream is not the answer. What we need to do is to control the amount of floodwater getting into our rivers in the first place by retaining more of it on the flood plains and managing those areas so that the floodwater is dissipated better into the soil by increasing the number of trees in those areas. It would be absurd to have a scheme that solves the problem for Oxford, but worsens it for everybody else. We need solutions that work for everybody. AlanAudio
  • Score: 6

10:01pm Fri 21 Feb 14

faatmaan says...

now who objected to the Drayton reservoir, this could have been used as a stop gap drain off for the waters that have caused so much havoc of late, considering a new reservoir is now in place at Swinford, that must be holding a considerable amount of the water, we need to ask ourselves if more of those types of underground holding chambers could stem any surge in abnormal conditions.
now who objected to the Drayton reservoir, this could have been used as a stop gap drain off for the waters that have caused so much havoc of late, considering a new reservoir is now in place at Swinford, that must be holding a considerable amount of the water, we need to ask ourselves if more of those types of underground holding chambers could stem any surge in abnormal conditions. faatmaan
  • Score: -2

12:39am Sat 22 Feb 14

semi-detached layby says...

now who objected to the Drayton reservoir, this could have been used as a stop gap drain off for the waters that have caused so much havoc of late, considering a new reservoir is now in place at Swinford, that must be holding a considerable amount of the water, we need to ask ourselves if more of those types of underground holding chambers could stem any surge in abnormal conditions.

The chances are that with all the rain, Thames Water would have filled the reservoir while it was cheap to do so with the river high, so by the end of December it would have been full and then of no use for flood prevention. Don't expect private money to save public flooding.
now who objected to the Drayton reservoir, this could have been used as a stop gap drain off for the waters that have caused so much havoc of late, considering a new reservoir is now in place at Swinford, that must be holding a considerable amount of the water, we need to ask ourselves if more of those types of underground holding chambers could stem any surge in abnormal conditions. The chances are that with all the rain, Thames Water would have filled the reservoir while it was cheap to do so with the river high, so by the end of December it would have been full and then of no use for flood prevention. Don't expect private money to save public flooding. semi-detached layby
  • Score: 2

12:55am Sat 22 Feb 14

semi-detached layby says...

Andrew:Oxford wrote:
King Joke wrote:
Yes, a bypass for Oxford will simply flood other areas more quickly. The same of course is true of dredging. The calls for more dredging recently have completely missed the point that flooding is caused by too much water and building on flood plains, not lack of 'action' by the authorities in terms of dredging. It's easy to point the blame at the EA and other authorities but when faced with too much water there isn't much you can do.
Unless that bypass incorporated a substantial leisure and rowing lake in the Hinksey area...

Active water level management would help people living both in Oxford and downstream.

The various Oxford "activist" groups would no doubt be outraged though.
The discussion about the depth of the rowing lake is irrelevant. All that counts is whether the surface of the rowing lake is above or below the existing ground level. If above, the lake would constitute an obstacle in the flood plain. If below, the lake would indeed help with flood control. If on the other hand the lake was surrounded by clay bunds, it would be a serious obstacle in the flood plain.

The installation of a lake is all about money, all about gravel extraction, but harnessing the publicity for the project that would be gained by installing a lake. As a former serous oarsman I might be delighted until I discovered the havoc that would be caused by executing this proposal. Follow the money to find out what is proposed but don't follow the money if you want a peaceful area around Hinksey with capacity to absorb most of the floods, apart from the ridiculous Abingdon Road that needs a raised causeway with space for water beneath it.

The Oxford water bypass will be a disaster, reducing the floodplain by a fair amount, making Oxford floodwater and River Ock flood water coincide. I recommend that members of the Ock flood group should obtain an injunction against the construction of this ill-conceived bypass.
[quote][p][bold]Andrew:Oxford[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: Yes, a bypass for Oxford will simply flood other areas more quickly. The same of course is true of dredging. The calls for more dredging recently have completely missed the point that flooding is caused by too much water and building on flood plains, not lack of 'action' by the authorities in terms of dredging. It's easy to point the blame at the EA and other authorities but when faced with too much water there isn't much you can do.[/p][/quote]Unless that bypass incorporated a substantial leisure and rowing lake in the Hinksey area... Active water level management would help people living both in Oxford and downstream. The various Oxford "activist" groups would no doubt be outraged though.[/p][/quote]The discussion about the depth of the rowing lake is irrelevant. All that counts is whether the surface of the rowing lake is above or below the existing ground level. If above, the lake would constitute an obstacle in the flood plain. If below, the lake would indeed help with flood control. If on the other hand the lake was surrounded by clay bunds, it would be a serious obstacle in the flood plain. The installation of a lake is all about money, all about gravel extraction, but harnessing the publicity for the project that would be gained by installing a lake. As a former serous oarsman I might be delighted until I discovered the havoc that would be caused by executing this proposal. Follow the money to find out what is proposed but don't follow the money if you want a peaceful area around Hinksey with capacity to absorb most of the floods, apart from the ridiculous Abingdon Road that needs a raised causeway with space for water beneath it. The Oxford water bypass will be a disaster, reducing the floodplain by a fair amount, making Oxford floodwater and River Ock flood water coincide. I recommend that members of the Ock flood group should obtain an injunction against the construction of this ill-conceived bypass. semi-detached layby
  • Score: 5

12:56pm Sun 23 Feb 14

Patrick, Devon says...

I think you are all missing the point here. I spent most of my life in Oxford, and never had serious flooding issues throughout the 60s, 70s and 80s. What has changed is the way that land in the catchment areas - upstream from Oxford is managed. More agricultural drainage, more bare fields during winter, heavier machionery compacting soils - all cause more rapid run off and more silt (the topsoil) in watercourses Plus we have climate change resulting in heavier downpours (warmer seas and warmer air, with a stronger jetstream).

You can throw billions at local flood defences, and nature will just move the goalposts. What is needed is a radical change in land management in the catchment areas. No bare soil in winter, more trees and vegetation, multiple small reservoirs, lakes and wetlands. The big farming interests will predict disaster, just as they did when straw burning was banned, but they will adapt just the same.
I think you are all missing the point here. I spent most of my life in Oxford, and never had serious flooding issues throughout the 60s, 70s and 80s. What has changed is the way that land in the catchment areas - upstream from Oxford is managed. More agricultural drainage, more bare fields during winter, heavier machionery compacting soils - all cause more rapid run off and more silt (the topsoil) in watercourses Plus we have climate change resulting in heavier downpours (warmer seas and warmer air, with a stronger jetstream). You can throw billions at local flood defences, and nature will just move the goalposts. What is needed is a radical change in land management in the catchment areas. No bare soil in winter, more trees and vegetation, multiple small reservoirs, lakes and wetlands. The big farming interests will predict disaster, just as they did when straw burning was banned, but they will adapt just the same. Patrick, Devon
  • Score: 8

8:12am Mon 24 Feb 14

King Joke says...

train passenger wrote:
Maybe we just have to give up on some smaller towns downstream. There is a price for everything.....just kidding. On another note, I can't believe how easily people blame 'building on flood plains' for the floods, when it is obvious that almost none of the houses that come under water are new-builds. These houses have been around for decades, if not centuries. Crumbling infrastructure is to blame, not a few houses.
No offence mate but you're missing the point. The houses being flooded have been there for 150 years, but the many areas that used to be fields are now vast supermarket car parks or new-build housing estates with double drives instead of front gardens. They may not get flooded but they can cause flooding.
[quote][p][bold]train passenger[/bold] wrote: Maybe we just have to give up on some smaller towns downstream. There is a price for everything.....just kidding. On another note, I can't believe how easily people blame 'building on flood plains' for the floods, when it is obvious that almost none of the houses that come under water are new-builds. These houses have been around for decades, if not centuries. Crumbling infrastructure is to blame, not a few houses.[/p][/quote]No offence mate but you're missing the point. The houses being flooded have been there for 150 years, but the many areas that used to be fields are now vast supermarket car parks or new-build housing estates with double drives instead of front gardens. They may not get flooded but they can cause flooding. King Joke
  • Score: 5

8:41am Mon 24 Feb 14

Patrick, Devon says...

King Joke wrote:
train passenger wrote:
Maybe we just have to give up on some smaller towns downstream. There is a price for everything.....just kidding. On another note, I can't believe how easily people blame 'building on flood plains' for the floods, when it is obvious that almost none of the houses that come under water are new-builds. These houses have been around for decades, if not centuries. Crumbling infrastructure is to blame, not a few houses.
No offence mate but you're missing the point. The houses being flooded have been there for 150 years, but the many areas that used to be fields are now vast supermarket car parks or new-build housing estates with double drives instead of front gardens. They may not get flooded but they can cause flooding.
Quite so KJ, urban land mismanagement is the other half of the story. Thousands of acres are now covered with concrete and tarmac - just where is the water supposed to go?

Dont forget that this also causes droughts - in a dry spell the rivers should be fed by residual groundwater - but if it just runs off in flash floods every time it rains there is no natural store.
[quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]train passenger[/bold] wrote: Maybe we just have to give up on some smaller towns downstream. There is a price for everything.....just kidding. On another note, I can't believe how easily people blame 'building on flood plains' for the floods, when it is obvious that almost none of the houses that come under water are new-builds. These houses have been around for decades, if not centuries. Crumbling infrastructure is to blame, not a few houses.[/p][/quote]No offence mate but you're missing the point. The houses being flooded have been there for 150 years, but the many areas that used to be fields are now vast supermarket car parks or new-build housing estates with double drives instead of front gardens. They may not get flooded but they can cause flooding.[/p][/quote]Quite so KJ, urban land mismanagement is the other half of the story. Thousands of acres are now covered with concrete and tarmac - just where is the water supposed to go? Dont forget that this also causes droughts - in a dry spell the rivers should be fed by residual groundwater - but if it just runs off in flash floods every time it rains there is no natural store. Patrick, Devon
  • Score: 2

6:32pm Sun 2 Mar 14

semi-detached layby says...

The last three contributions from Patrick! Devon and King Joke are right on the money. We have these three bad practices.
1. Damaging our flood plains by removing all trees and grazing cattle and sheep on them, making them less porous and far more susceptible to run-off, which has two effects, namely to increase flooding downstream and to reduce the capacity to deal with drought.

2. Damaging our flood plains by building and paving vast areas of them, making them impervious bad totally susceptible to run-off, which has two effects, namely to increase flooding downstream and to reduce the capacity to deal with drought.

3. Blocking our flood plains by building on them, removing water storage capacity on the floodplain, which has two effects, namely to increase flooding downstream and to reduce the capacity to deal with drought.

Thus everything we do leads to exacerbating the problem of flooding and the inability to deal with drought. Patrick, Devon is absolutely right in saying none of these problems were apparent in the sixties and seventies, or even in the eighties. The point is that when we develop land there seems to be an insatiable appetite to pave everything. Although we have building codes about putting in soakaways, these are not followed by the thousands of small builders and any enforcement mechanism is so trivial it fails before it begins. There should be huge fines for paving a drive without providing adequate soak aways. Nothing that blocks the storage capacity of the floodplain should be permitted without providing alternative capacity of approved quality and efficiency. Finally, farmers should be forced to provide porous soil in any floodplain area and that must meet the necessary standards to allow absorption to occur.

Much work has to be done here, and yes, even dredging has a place, but it should be the last, not the first resort.
The last three contributions from Patrick! Devon and King Joke are right on the money. We have these three bad practices. 1. Damaging our flood plains by removing all trees and grazing cattle and sheep on them, making them less porous and far more susceptible to run-off, which has two effects, namely to increase flooding downstream and to reduce the capacity to deal with drought. 2. Damaging our flood plains by building and paving vast areas of them, making them impervious bad totally susceptible to run-off, which has two effects, namely to increase flooding downstream and to reduce the capacity to deal with drought. 3. Blocking our flood plains by building on them, removing water storage capacity on the floodplain, which has two effects, namely to increase flooding downstream and to reduce the capacity to deal with drought. Thus everything we do leads to exacerbating the problem of flooding and the inability to deal with drought. Patrick, Devon is absolutely right in saying none of these problems were apparent in the sixties and seventies, or even in the eighties. The point is that when we develop land there seems to be an insatiable appetite to pave everything. Although we have building codes about putting in soakaways, these are not followed by the thousands of small builders and any enforcement mechanism is so trivial it fails before it begins. There should be huge fines for paving a drive without providing adequate soak aways. Nothing that blocks the storage capacity of the floodplain should be permitted without providing alternative capacity of approved quality and efficiency. Finally, farmers should be forced to provide porous soil in any floodplain area and that must meet the necessary standards to allow absorption to occur. Much work has to be done here, and yes, even dredging has a place, but it should be the last, not the first resort. semi-detached layby
  • Score: 0

7:59am Mon 3 Mar 14

King Joke says...

SDLB, better than compulsory soakaways, we could also dispense with building on the flood plain altogether, instead redveloping brownfield land in our towns & cities to a decent density, and finding better uses for land-hungry low-intensity uses like car parks.
SDLB, better than compulsory soakaways, we could also dispense with building on the flood plain altogether, instead redveloping brownfield land in our towns & cities to a decent density, and finding better uses for land-hungry low-intensity uses like car parks. King Joke
  • Score: 0

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