Flooding is the overflow of the quantity of water exceeding usual standards that ends up submerging dry land. In the EU, different legislation and policies have been implemented to address flooding. It is important to note that the coastal area is critical due to its location and effect on flooding. The EU has developed policies that guide the relevant authorities on how to assess and manage risks of floods and the massive coastal erosion that occurs. This will work in tandem with the authorities in the UK. The crucial aspect is the responses of the powers and how consistent they are in ensuring that the guidance is followed. For us to understand the effectiveness of the policies and legislation, we have to cover the principles, national framework, risk management and solutions to flooding.
Managing Flood Risk
Climate change is a global challenge that can be addressed through preparation. Previous reports in the UK such as the Foresight Future Flooding Report of 2004 and the Stern Review of 2006 have set out the precedence on how to address climate change through prediction of weather patterns and early warning signs (Meijerink, 2015, p. 1070). These reviews have recommended in ensuring that every individual is aware of the seriousness and impact of climate change in our daily activities. Despite the discussion of these reports, some states are hesitant in implementing the findings. The reports concluded that the analysis of climate change would include many factors. The rise of temperatures which leads to dramatic and drastic changes in weather conditions with more torrential rain. Such factors should be enforced by governments through the meteorological departments to provide accurate predictions and preparedness (Schelfaut, et al. 2015, p.830). The observation of the climate change will lead to flooding of lakes, risk the coastal settlements and towns in those areas. Increased flooding will affect buildings and construction such as dams, and drainage systems exposing the geographical area to landslides. It is the reason governments should adapt to climate change (Hansson, Danielson, & Ekenberg, 2017, p.470) The reports suggested that more research on climate change should be done to have current data.
The UK government ensured that in managing risk the use of flood insurance was addressed. It is due to the reason that flooding has to happen. The EU insurance policy is divided to cover two aspects which are commercial insurance and household insurance. The commercial covers business enterprises while the household covers one's home and the property there within. The flooding comes with losses due to the damages that are experienced. It is therefore logical and appropriate to ensure that financial arrangements are made before the risk of flooding. Using an example of the floods that were experienced in Europe in 2002, an estimated 18 million euros' worth of property was damaged. It caused governments in Europe to plan on how they would recuperate from the damage (Burby, 2011, p.120). The insurance sector is therefore essential in addressing flood cover through the flood insurance policies put in place. In the UK it is included in necessary insurance policies and other countries have not been aggressive in seeking this cover. In some states such as Canada, it is deemed as expensive. Some states have very minimal subscriptions to the insurance premiums due to the assumption that the government will facilitate financial assistance in the event of flooding. The effectiveness of these policies in ensuring that flood insurance is adopted should be addressed in the following manner. More campaigns, especially in the UK, should be done to provide awareness and the damages that come from flooding. There should be media presence of consequences of not having flood insurance especially those that own homes in coastal regions and areas of low sea level. The young generation is a key populate to include in the conversation to prepare now and in the future (Meijerink & Dicke, 2017. p.500) The UK government may use radio, television, social media campaigns and posters which should contain messages emphasizing on the importance of personal responsibility and behavior change.
Reducing the damages to critical infrastructure
States are accepting the fact that emergencies brought about by natural disasters such as flooding are leading them into deep losses. They have therefore sought to enhance their all-hazard approach to handle these incidents. Previous reviews have shown that other countries have taken steps to ensure that there is minimal destruction to their critical infrastructure. The UK should adopt to countries such as France and the United States of America. In France, there is a culture of sharing risk information in every region. Local leaders take it upon themselves to be responsible for their locals. Due to their influence in society, they are privy to sensitive information which they disseminate to their community members. It leads to early preparedness and implementation of early warning measures to curb the impending emergencies. Local emergency groups for assisting in responsiveness are actively and in strategic locations (Huntjens et al. 2015, p.74). In the USA, The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) which is a federal government agency that is inclusive of the military and civilians has been vital in the implementation of prevention measures. The USACE consists of a majority of civil engineers, and one of their aims is to mitigate flooding. The body has previously given into pressure and published the maps of dams for them to be with civilians. It is now compulsory to post maps to tell residents where dams are and that they are at risk in case of dam failure. In the UK, there is no consistency in the sharing of information as it is in France. It is vital for political leaders to be in a position to give information to the public of current studies of flooding risks (Dworak & Görlach, 2015, p.101). There should also be maps of crucial exit routes in case of flooding, of dams and their locations and to what extent their collapse would affect the area. Such predetermined risk measures assist in preparedness.
The Environment Agency's strategic overview role
The Department for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs(Defra) in the year 2005 did a response document. The document was titled Making Space for Water. It stated that the government had to accord the Environment Agency all coastal erosion and flooding risks. It was the only method that would lead to a risk-based approach to tackle flooding (Kallioras, Pliakas, & Diamantis, 2016, p.300). This method made it possible for the strategic overview of addressing the issues of coastal erosion and sea flooding. Another report published in 2008 by The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) was in support of the Environment Agency as an overview body which was strategically positioned to play that role. The aim was to ensure that the Environment Agency provided the necessary resources to address coastal risk management (Armstrong et al. 2014, p. 990). During this research, findings from the report titled The Foresight Future Flooding of 2004 noted that the rising sea levels and storm surges keep the UK in perpetual risk. Data from floods from the winter of 1953 show that there was a substantial loss of life and property
The Environment Agency in its eventuality played a significant role in ensuring that all civilians knew that the full responsibilities of oversight and approach concerning flooding were their role. The Agency was adequately prepared for its new position through adequate resourcing and organizational issues. It was critical in ensuring that the Agency would be able to implement and link-up with local partnerships. Their oversight role included providing that the agencies in different fields played their role effectively. In the example of the 2007 floods, the Environment Agency stated in its purpose of relating to local issues. It said that it would come as an agency that approved projects that met the quality assurance standards. The locals play a significant role in handling problems of surface water. They also have a greater understanding of the issues that face them on a local level (Wolsink, 2016, p.481). The Environment Agency comes as a regulatory body. Some individuals from previous reports suggested that there should be a specific agency that should head the flooding risks. It occurred due to the conflicting and overlapping roles of the Environment Agency. The stated that the Environment Agency was only responsible for ensuring that matters concerning environment conservation are addressed. The Environment Agency should not direct flooding which is a different risk. It should be independent and distinctive in its role. However, the suggestion did not gain much momentum in the Environmental, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and was plunged out (Kenyon, Hill, & Shannon, 2017, P. 359) These fears arose from the fact that there would be more issues that would result from the Environmental Agency contrary to what was expected.
Catchment Flood Management Plans.
Catchment Flood Management Plans can only be attained if there is an availability of adequately Catchment Flood Management Funds(CFMP's). It is a planning tool that must be used in the implementation of the aversion of flooding risks. These plans as highlighted are a result of assessments through investigation to focus on the long-term measures that are sustainable for flood risks. These tools are strategically positioned to ensure that long-term benefits are experienced (Ledoux et al. 2015, p. 140). The understanding that water catchment areas are essential and has been a big part of the EU Floods Directive.
My recommendations because the risks will escalate in the future are that different measures should be employed due to the current expenditure of the existing rules. The situation is more likely to get the worse meaning that better strategic actions that are more sustainable and durable should be put in place. The coastal area which is mostly at the highest risk due to increases global sea levels and change of weather and climate events should be accorded better and stringent measures. The Environment Agency should delegate these local issues by according them tools and methods of how to properly set themselves at lower risks of flooding (Samuels, Klijn & Dijkman, 2017, ppS143). The integration of the locals' lifestyle with policies from the Environment Agency is more likely to yield better results than the new oversight role.
The CFMP's should be founded in flood risk assessments that are current and predictions of the future. They should include in their funding all catchment areas like rivers, sewers, groundwater, and coasts (Tippett, Searle, Pahl-Wostl, & Rees, 2015, p.290). This assessment will enable us to understand the probability of flooding in these areas and the effect or impact of the risk measures that have been put in place. It should be then quantified to the impact from an economic, social and environmental perspective. The evaluation process I would advise is that the CFMP's should focus on identifying the buildings that are mostly expected to be at a situation of high risk. These should be given priority over the others. The concerns that the projects which were set were not done according to the deadlines given should be addressed (Johnson & Parker, 2017, p. 380). Flooding is a hazardous emergency that cannot always be predicted. Measures should, therefore, be implemented most efficiently and effectively possible.
The UK government through the policies that it has set to mitigate the risks of flooding has seen the state suffer fewer losses than previous experiences. The policies have assisted in setting precedence for future emergency flooding risks. Residents from the UK have had meaningful and productive conversations with the use of its leaders in introducing agencies such as the Environmental Agency and providing funds to address the risks. Residents have become more aware and prepared in case of any impending flooding (Naess, Bang, Eriksen, & Vevatne, 2015, p. 131). The youth who consist of a substantial percentage population have been educated on the importance of embracing risk aversion. This is the most efficient way to reduce loss of lives and damage to property.
Armstrong, C., Flood, P.C., Guthrie, J.P., Liu, W., MacCurtain, S. & Mkamwa, T., 2014. The impact of diversity and equality management on firm performance: Beyond high performance work systems. Human Resource Management, 49(6), pp.977-998.
Burby, R.J., 2011. Flood insurance and floodplain management: the US experience. Global Environmental Change Part B: Environmental Hazards, 3(3), pp.111-122.
Dworak, T. & Görlach, B., 2015. Flood risk management in [email protected] the development of a common EU policy. International Journal of River Basin Management, 3(2), pp.97-103.
Hansson, K., Danielson, M. & Ekenberg, L., 2017. A framework for evaluation of flood management strategies. Journal of environmental management, 86(3), pp.465-480.
Heinz, I., Pulido-Velazquez, M., Lund, J.R. & Andreu, J., 2007. Hydro-economic modeling in river basin management: implications and applications for the European water framework directive. Water resources management, 21(7), pp.1103-1125.
Huntjens, P., Lebel, L., Pahl-Wostl, C., Camkin, J., Schulze, R. & Kranz, N., 2015. Institutional design propositions for the governance of adaptation to climate change in the water sector. Global Environmental Change, 22(1), pp.67-81.
Johnson & Parker, D., 2017. Natural and imposed injustices: the challenges in implementing ‘fair’flood risk management policy in England. Geographical Journal, 173(4), pp.374-390.
Kenyon, W., Hill, G. & Shannon, P., 2017. Scoping the role of agriculture in sustainable flood management. Land Use Policy, 25(3), pp.351-360.
Kallioras, A., Pliakas, F. & Diamantis, I., 2016. The legislative framework and policy for the water resources management of transboundary rivers in Europe: the case of Nestos/Mesta River, between Greece and Bulgaria. environmental science & policy, 9(3), pp.291-301.
Ledoux, L., Cornell, S., O’Riordan, T., Harvey, R. & Banyard, L., 2015. Towards sustainable flood and coastal management: identifying drivers of, and obstacles to, managed realignment. Land use policy, 22(2), pp.129-144.
Meijerink, S. & Dicke, W., 2017. Shifts in the public–private divide in flood management. International Journal of Water Resources Development, 24(4), pp.499-512.
Meijerink, S., 2015. Understanding policy stability and change. The interplay of advocacy coalitions and epistemic communities, windows of opportunity, and Dutch coastal flooding policy 1945–2003. Journal of European public policy, 12(6), pp.1060-1077.
Naess, L.O., Bang, G., Eriksen, S. & Vevatne, J., 2015. Institutional adaptation to climate change: flood responses at the municipal level in Norway. Global Environmental Change, 15(2), pp.125-138.
Samuels, P., Klijn, F. & Dijkman, J., 2017. An analysis of the current practice of policies on river flood risk management in different countries. Irrigation and Drainage: The journal of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage, 55(S1), pp.S141-S150.
Schelfaut, K., Pannemans, B., Van der Craats, I., Krywkow, J., Mysiak, J. and Cools, J., 2015. Bringing flood resilience into practice: the FREEMAN project. Environmental Science & Policy, 14(7), pp.825-833.
Tippett, J., Searle, B., Pahl-Wostl, C. & Rees, Y., 2015. Social learning in public participation in river basin management—early findings from HarmoniCOP European case studies. Environmental science & policy, 8(3), pp.287-299.
Wolsink, M., 2016. River basin approach and integrated water management: Governance pitfalls for the Dutch Space-Water-Adjustment Management Principle. Geoforum, 37(4), pp.473-487.