Surface Water Management Action Plan:Written statement - HCWS860

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Made on: 17 July 2018
Made by: Dr Thérèse Coffey (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Environment)

Surface Water Management Action Plan

Surface water flooding happens when intense rain from storms overwhelms local drainage capacities. It is caused by short heavy rainstorms, tends to affect localised areas and is more difficult to forecast than flooding from rivers and the sea.

Managing surface water can be complex because it is difficult to forecast which areas the storms will affect, to understand the routes the water will take when it falls, and because there are many parties with relevant responsibilities.

The government has today published its Surface Water Management Action Plan on This action plan will bring our preparedness for surface water flood risks more closely into line with that for risks from main rivers and the sea. It delivers a commitment in the National Flood Resilience Review and includes a number of actions to both improve our understanding of the risks and strengthen delivery. The action plan covers:

  • improving risk assessment and communication;
  • making sure infrastructure is resilient;
  • clarifying responsibilities for surface water management;
  • joining up planning for surface water management; and
  • building local authority capacity.

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