The Somerset Rivers Authority (SRA) has been launched on the 31 of December, as the umbrella organisation for the 20 Year Flood Action Plan. The SRA will help identify, fund and deliver the next steps for improved flood protection in Somerset, while building partnership and coordination between separate flood risk management authorities in the county. For more details about the new organisation and the latest progress on the Flood Action Plan, visit www.somersetriversauthority.org.uk
You can read information about Flood Schemes at Beer Wall and Muchelney here.
The Environment Agency’s initial dredging of an 8km section of the rivers Parrett and Tone started at the end of March. You can read the latest EA update on the dredging here.
Information about Road Closure Gates can be found here.
Background to the Plan
The former Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson asked for a single, overarching plan that will guide water and land management policies and investment on Somerset’s Levels and Moors for the next twenty years. The Flood Action Plan (FAP) was produced by a range of organisations, with the involvement of the community and was co-ordinated by Somerset County Council.
You can download the 20 Year Flood Action Plan, and the executive summary of the plan here:
The Plan can’t stop flooding, but the actions in it will reduce the frequency, duration and severity of a flood of the nature experienced in 2013/14.
Its work is about how the whole catchment works, not just the flooded areas. No single area of work in the plan will solve the problem, but all together they can make a difference.
Not all the challenges can be solved at once. Some actions are already funded and underway while others are more long-term and still need to have funding identified.
Who is working on the Flood Action Plan?
The Flood Action Plan is coordinated by Somerset County Council but there are many different organisations responsible for carrying it out, including the Environment Agency; the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group; Sedgemoor District Council; Somerset Internal Drainage Boards; South Somerset District Council; Taunton Deane Borough Council; Mendip District Council; West Somerset District Council; the Royal Bath & West Society; Natural England; Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra); Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).
The work of the Flood Action Plan is divided into different areas, known as work streams. These are led or shared by the different organisations above and consist of:
- Dredging and River Management
- Land Management
- Urban Water Management
- Resilient Infrastructure (much of it involving road engineering)
- Funding and Delivery of long-term Flood Risk Management and Resilient Infrastructure
- Building Local Resilience (helping communities be prepared for responding to / coping with floods)
- Somerset Rivers Board
Further details on their work and progress can be found by using the latest progress link at the top of this page.