The UK has just experienced the wettest winter in over 250 years

The UK has just experienced the wettest winter in over 250 years, with the south of the country taking the worst of the weather. The level of media coverage from the resulting flooding was virtually unprecedented, which in turn has created huge public debate on how we should protect ourselves in the future. On Budget Day, the government announced £140million of new funding for repairing and improving flood defences. Welcome indeed, but perhaps the question that we should be asking is how, when we experience unseasonably wet weather again (and you can be sure we will), can we better help people and businesses more effectively when a major flood event takes place?

The Environment Agency (EA) was put severely under the microscope as it battled to cope with all four types of flood event, but despite best efforts they were utterly overwhelmed by the scale of the problem. There’s no doubt that the EA team on the ground worked tirelessly, the sentiment was they were bitterly let down.

The government has been criticised heavily for cutting flood defence spending by almost £100million a year after taking power and, although Chancellor George Osborne has pledged additional spending, critics say that this falls well short of what is needed to maintain flood defences, let alone create new ones. Indeed, the Institution of Civil Engineers has claimed annual maintenance budget for flood defences had fallen by 39 per cent, from more than £100million in 2010/11 to £60.7million in 2014/15.

Read the full article by The Environment.