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Chartered Institution of Water and
Environmental Management (CIWEM)

106-109 Saffron Hill, London, EC1N 8QS  
Tel: 020 7831 3110   Fax: 020 7405 4967


From the dawn of civilisation, society has been affected by floods. Communities established near rivers and along the coast have been particularly affected. As civilisation has developed, it has adapted to flooding, making buildings resistant to flooding and protecting communities with flood defences. Yet even the most highly developed parts of the world are still at risk from devastating floods today.

Projections relating to climate change indicate that extreme weather and sea level rise are likely to increase the risk of flooding. CIWEM is working to improve ways in which flood waters are managed so that they better link in with the water cycle.


Funding for Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management

CIWEM is curerntly producing a thorough review of current and future funding requirements to deliver flood and coastal erosion risk management. To get involved or for further information please contact Laura Grant


Floods and Dredging - a reality check

The Floods seen over the Winter of 2013/14 have seen a very public call for more widespread dredging of main rivers and other watercourses in order to improve flood protection to those communities affected by events, particularly on the Somerset Levels and the Thames Valley.  This has been taken up by senior Ministers and presented as an effective and widely applicable flood risk management solution. 

Floods and Dredging - a reality check takes an objective look at the role that dredging plays in managing water in our rivers and explains where dredging is an effective and appropriate measure and the circumstances in which its deployment will be far less effective and can even exacerbate flood risk, as well as causing ecological damage.

The report encourages a balanced approach, utilising a wide range of measures which should be deployed where they can deliver most benefit.  This includes dredging in certain locations, particularly those which are already heavily altered environments, but which has at its heart the principle of slowing water down in upper catchments to reduce the height and therefore impact of flood peaks. It emphasises the need for a considered approach based on sound evidence and expert assessment to deliver the best levels of protection to communities.

Floods And Dredging - A Reality Check


CIWEM's work on Flooding 

CIWEM's work on flooding issues is coordinated through the Rivers and Coastal Group and UDG (CIWEM's Urban Drainage Group). CIWEM also produces the Journal of Flood Risk Management.

The 2007 Floods and the subsequent review led by Sir Michael Pitt stimulated much debate about how best to tackle the management of flood risk in the future. Against a background of creating a more joined up approach, the need for sustainable solutions and the challenges of climate change, the ICE, CIWEM, RIBA, RICS, RTPI, RUSI and the Landscape Institute produced a Joint Policy Statement in 2009 to inform and guide their members and the wider industry.

Managed Realignment - Around a third of the coastline surrounding England and Wales is currently protected by defences designed to reduce the risk to people and properties from coastal flooding and erosion. Scientists expect this risk to increase substantially in the future, mostly as a result of climate change. In some areas, maintaining the current line of defence will become increasingly cost-prohibitive and, more importantly, unsustainable. CIWEM have produced a Briefing Report on the subject exploring the available policy options.


Policy Position Statements




Upcoming Events




Chartered Institution of Water and
Environmental Management (CIWEM)

106-109 Saffron Hill, London, EC1N 8QS  
Tel: 020 7831 3110   Fax: 020 7405 4967