It is not only the direct risk of flooding which can impact your home or business, it is also the indirect impact of flooding at critical infrastructure sites that can put you in the dark. Flood damage to infrastructure assets can reach further than the flood waters themselves, affecting power, heating, water supplies and telecommunications as well as transport access routes and supply chains.
Recent floods have highlighted the vulnerability of critical infrastructure in the UK and the economic damage that flooding causes when effective resilience measures are not in place.
Over two thirds of properties in England are dependent on infrastructure sites and networks located in flood risk zones (Environment Agency, 2019). In order to cope with the projected rise in flood severity over the coming years, we must put infrastructure resilience at the forefront of flood risk management. The EA’s Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy supports this in setting an objective for risk management authorities to work towards with infrastructure providers to ensure resilience is built into future investments.
However, the timeline set out in their Action Plan (2021), “between now and 2050 risk management authorities will work with national infrastructure providers to…ensure their investments are resilient to flooding and coastal erosion,” is not the immediate response that is needed. Infrastructure providers need to react much faster than this.
By assessing and understanding the risk levels and factors of each asset, providers can build this into any repair or refurbishment plans now, spreading the cost and burden of protecting vulnerable sites in the future.