Flood damage 'could have been prevented'

Using correct water management techniques could have prevented some of the damage from the recent floods, a group of experts has said in an open letter to the prime minister.

Live updates

Met Office 'told councils to expect dry winter'

The Met Office had told councils to expect a dry winter. Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

The Met Office advised councils to expect a dry winter in advance forecasts issued in November according to the Daily Mail.

The three-month forecast was also given to the Environment Agency and other contingency planners to tell them what to expect from December 2013 to the end of this month.

The paper claims a Met Office spokesman conceded the planning was ‘experimental to some extent’.

Yesterday it was confirmed that the UK has seen the wettest winter on record, with some areas still under water.

Advertisement

Flood damage 'could have been prevented'

Using correct water management techniques could have prevented some of the damage from the recent floods, a group of experts has said in an open letter to the prime minister.

John Matthews and Sally De'Ath walk make their way through floodwater in Staines-upon-Thames, Surrey. Credit: PA

The experts - representing 15 organisations including the Institution of Environmental Sciences and the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management - wrote in The Telegraph:

"Water management techniques could have helped prevent the effect of flooding on villages, towns and over surrounding land seen recently. Emergency measures are in order for the immediate crisis."

Urging David Cameron to adopt new measures on flood prevention they added: "But in the long term, the management of water requires a clear strategy."

Labour government 'would prioritise flood defences'

Investment in flood defences would be a priority for an incoming Labour government, Ed Balls has said in an article calling for ministers to make long-term decisions on the flooding problem.

Investment in flood defences would be a priority for an incoming Labour government, Ed Balls has said. Credit: PA

Writing in The Telegraph, Mr Balls accused the coalition Government of "short-termist salami-slicing" of budgets for flood defences, and said that 300 "shovel-ready" schemes were shelved last year because of lack of funding.

Labour's ongoing "zero-based review" of public spending has made clear that funds should be directed towards preventive work which can save money in the long term, he said.

An incoming Labour government would need to make spending cuts, he said, adding: "But how we make those cuts is vital.

"Our zero-based review of public spending - a root-and-branch review of every pound spent by government from the bottom up - is clear that we must eliminate waste and inefficiencies, but also prioritise preventative spending that can save money in the long term.

"There can be few better examples than investment in flood defences."

  1. London

Satellite image shows surface water runoff after floods

The dark brown area shows the surface water runoff from the recent floods. It happens when the soil is so saturated excess water from rain flows over the land.

Advertisement

Back to top

Latest ITV News reports