Climate change and OFRMS

1 December 2009

Appalling news from Cumbria. A policeman loses his life. Water 8 ft deep in Cockermouth, bridges and homes destroyed. A 1 in 1000 year flood we are told.

Major adverse weather events seem to be getting more common – global warming, whatever its cause, the alleged culprit.

Oxford, in a flood plain and permeated by watercourses, has no flood defences. Recent renovation of existing waterways, though welcome, will not prevent big floods.

The EA has come up with a plan to give Oxford protection against any flood up to a 1 in 100 year flood. It’s called the Oxford Flood Risk Management Strategy.

There will be concerns about some aspects of the plans. But surely the city of Oxford cannot afford to do without protection against what nature seems increasingly likely to throw down on us? The Environment Agency says that 3600 properties – 3100 dwellings and 500 businesses – could be flooded in an a 1 in 100 year flood. The nearest we have had to that in living memory was in 1947. This would dwarf the floods Oxford has seen in more recent years. 10,000 people could be flooded.

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