After devastating floods swept across the UK last year, MPs are urging for new flood risk management reforms.
A number of MPs believe that setting up a new flooding and coastal board, a rivers and coastal authority and having a UK floods commissioner are the best strategies for tackling this increasingly common problem going forward.
The group of MPs in favour of flood management reform believes that there should be stricter rules imposed on house builders and standards for repairing flood-hit homes. When water levels rise following stormy conditions, the group also believe that floodwater would be best stored on agricultural land, as this is more cost effective than allowing floodwater to penetrate towns and cities; in fact, suggestions have been made that farmers could be offered incentives to allow floodwater to be stored on their land.
Although the government is not in agreement with the need for these radical changes, the MPs in favour argue that the Environment Agency is not up to the job. They believe the agency has not handled flooding in recent years very effectively and the current system for managing floods is not fit for purpose.
With climate change likely to increase the occurrence of flooding incidences as time goes on, it is hoped that newly-created bodies, including a national floods commissioner and a new English rivers and coastal authority, would be better able to tackle this increasingly pertinent issue.
MPs would also like to see a more holistic approach taken to the problem of flooding, including better use of natural resources, such as improving soil management and planting trees. Better communication about managing flooding, what to do in an emergency, understanding risks of stormy weather and being aware of tide times are also measures that can be taken to better deal with this problem.