‘Significant climate impacts are inevitable especially for flood and coastal risks, water management, freshwater wildlife and industrial regulation,’ says the latest Environment Agency adaptation report published earlier this month.
According to the latest projections, summer rainfall in the UK is expected to increase 22% by 2080, and winter rainfall by 13%. The report sets out what the agency is doing to help reduce flooding of properties and businesses, ensure future drinking water supply, reduce pollution, and protect the biodiversity of freshwater habitats. The Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme (OFAS) features as a case study in the report, an illustration of the kind of action the EA is taking in partnership with others.
Early action is needed the agency warns: ‘Despite more than a decade of concerted effort to reduce these risks, the speed and scale of climate change means that many are either increasing or remain significant. This broad conclusion matches recent assessments from the Climate Change Committee, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and others.’
The OFAS scheme will be submitted for planning approval this winter. The planning documents will incorporate the latest government assumptions about future rainfall and flood risk.