The U.K.’s Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) notes that “legislation to implement the EC Water Framework Directive could seriously limit our ability to implement flood management schemes in future.”
The CII made the claim in a recent major update to its Information Services online fact file on flood risks and insurance, published at www.cii.co.uk/is/flood.
“In Carlisle,” states the author David Crichton, visiting professor at the Benfield Hazard Research Centre, “where 4,500 properties were flooded in January this year, the new legislation is already preventing sustainable solutions to flood hazards from being considered. On the other hand, in Scotland the problems arising from the directive were anticipated and with input from wildlife organisations such as WWF and RSPB Scottish legislation gives priority to sustainable flood management schemes.”
He noted that the issue had been “considered in great detail in Scotland, where 32 organisations worked together to successfully persuade the Scottish Parliament that simply implementing the directive as it stands could spell disaster. The result is a much more holistic approach to water management which recognises the importance of social and economic issues as well as wildlife, and gives priority to human health and welfare.”
Other issues highlighted by the updated fact file include sustainable drainage systems (SUDS). Crichton’s survey found that “hardly any insurers had ever heard of SUDS.” The bulletin explains that this “new approach to drainage issues is becoming routine in new housing development. However, there are problems over construction, adoption and maintenance which have still not been resolved, and some insurers have expressed concern that these could result in more flooding incidents.”
The fact file contains information on many other flood issues ranging from the possible impacts of introducing beavers to Britain to the effects of the Water Act on reservoir safety in 2006 and beyond. It is available to CII members and subscribers to CII Information Services on the CII Information Services Website, as noted above. A summary is available for non-members.
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