‘Flood investment must be protected’

HOME owners could be in deep water unless there is extra investment in flood infrastructure and more realistic planning policies.
That’s the message from the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM), whose executive director, Nick Reeves, warned: “While belt tightening is part and parcel of life at present there are some areas that must be protected – investment in sustainable flood infrastructure is one such area.”
Even in the current economic climate, under-investment in flood infrastructure is unacceptable, said CIWEM. And as climate change increases the frequency and severity of flooding, the institution is concerned it will become an increasingly pressing issue.

“Failure to invest in infrastructure and manage the risks of flooding in a sustainable, realistic way will lead to continued loss of life and property, extensive damage to the UK economy and ongoing misery for millions of people,” Reeves continued.
CIWEM said it shares the Association of British Insurers’ fears over the risk of underinvestment, which could lead to those in areas at greatest risk likely to find future premiums unaffordable… if insurance is available at all.
With coverage not yet guaranteed beyond June this year, many home owners are faced with an uncertain future. CIWEM opposes a model that may allow homes to become unsellable because of the risk of flooding, and where home owners are unable to secure insurance or lending to purchase a new property or improve their homes.
“With increased frequency and severity of flooding, the viability and future of communities where property cannot get insurance would be in question, causing whole communities to be potentially lost,” said CIWEM.