Surface Water Management: A review of the opportunities and challenges

This report provides a review on the opportunities and challenges in delivering surface water management, especially as it’s the most common flood risk, yet it remains the Cinderella of flooding sources.

With flash flooding such as that which hit parts of England in May 2023 and London in July 2021 projected to become more prevalent as extreme weather occurs more frequently, the need to manage surface water flood risk is crucial. 

The research was commissioned and funded by the Association of SuDS Authorities (ASA), the Local Government Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Technical Advisors Group Water (LG FCERM TAG) and the London Drainage Engineers Group.

The report aims to identify opportunities and challenges for the Risk Management Authorities (primarily local authorities) managing surface water looking into cooperation, collaboration, funding, capacity and skills.

The findings suggested that surface water management in England is not consistently coordinated, or supported and funding often doesn’t get to where it’s needed most. The report provides a number of recommendations for Government, the Environment Agency, RMAs, professional bodies and others. We’re recommending that Government and the Environment Agency improves engagement and leadership to tackle the persistent challenges being faced by RMAs.

To read the reports click below.

To read the summary report click here: To read the full report click here: To read the CIWEM briefing click here:

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