Defra announces funds for early development of UK surface water management plans

UK Environment Minister Phil Woolas announced £300,000 for pilot schemes which will develop new guidance on surface water management plans to cope with anticipated extreme rainfall in the future. Defra is now seeking expressions of interest from pilot organizations which will need to demonstrate a specific and significant surface water flooding issue and provide evidence that they can test a good proportion of the guidance this financial year...

LONDON, UK, Oct 1, 2008 -- UK Environment Minister Phil Woolas announced £300,000 for pilot schemes which will develop new guidance on surface water management plans to cope with anticipated extreme rainfall in the future.

Defra is now seeking expressions of interest from pilot organizations which will need to demonstrate a specific and significant surface water flooding issue and provide evidence that they can test a good proportion of the guidance this financial year.

Phil Woolas said: "The Pitt Review highlighted the risks of surface water flooding and recommended action to improve the way surface water is managed. These pilots will help move forward local flood risk management in some key areas through the development of their own surface water management plans.

"We take this issue very seriously and want to make sure the guidance for these plans has been researched, tested and demonstrated."

The Environment Agency estimated that two-thirds of the 57,000 homes affected in the 2007 floods were flooded from surface water runoff. Defra recently consulted on policy measures to improve the way surface water run-off is managed.

Organizations or partnerships with the capacity to deliver a pilot are invited to submit a proposal to Defra by 24 Oct. 2008. Proposals will be assessed against published criteria and a number of pilots will then be selected for funding.

>> Click here for more information

Defra will contact applicants by early November to confirm whether they have been successful.

Projects must meet all of the following eligibility criteria:

* The area concerned (in England), will have a well documented and significant flood risk management issue that could be alleviated by an integrated approach to drainage improvements.
* That key partners agree that the area is at sufficient surface water risk to justify funding the development of a management plan and agree that solutions require a collaborative approach.
* That partners will be willing and able to share information where appropriate.
* The lead organization is able to demonstrate that it is in a position to deliver a significant proportion of work that ideally tests the first three phases 1of the guidance, this financial year.
* The lead organization can demonstrate that in addition to funding from Defra's flood management program, it has arrangements to supplement this with contributions from other sources that recognize the benefits anticipated.
* The progress and benefits of the project will be measured and reported in accordance with an agreement between Defra and the lead organization.


Eligible organizations or partnerships:

* Organizations or partnerships which consider they have the capacity to deliver the proposed project may apply.
* Partnerships would be expected to include Local Authorities and may include other public bodies and organizations.
* Partnerships should identify a lead organization which would be responsible for delivering the project.
* The lead organization would need to satisfy requirements for entering into contractual arrangements with Defra.

>> Click here for a summary of the responses received to the consultation on improving surface water drainage

Defra is working on the production of a full response to Pitt that includes an action plan, in the Autumn.
>> View Hilary Benn's oral statement in response to Sir Michael Pitt's final report on the Summer floods

###

More in Drinking Water