By Paul Homewood
Perhaps if the Environment Agency really want to understand the changing risks of flooding to dams and other infrastructure, they should look to the past instead of the Met Office’s computer models:
For a number of years, flood risks have been based on data beginning in the 1960s, a period well recognised by experts as “flood dry”. According to one of them, Professor Stuart Lane:
“We entered a generally flood-poor period in the 1960s, earlier in some parts of the country, later in others. This does not mean there was no flooding, just that there was much less than before the 1960s and what we are seeing now. This has lowered our own awareness of flood risk in the UK. This has made it easier to go on building on floodplains. It has also helped us to believe that we can manage flooding without too much cost, simply because there was not that much flooding to manage.”
He added: “We have also not been good at recognising just how flood-prone we can be. More than three-quarters of our flood records start in the flood-poor period that begins in the 1960s. This matters because we set our flood protection in terms of return periods – the average number of years between floods of a given size. We have probably under-estimated the frequency of flooding, which is now happening, as it did before the 1960s, much more often that we are used to.
“The problem is that many of our decisions over what development to allow and what defences to build rely upon a good estimate of these return periods.”
via NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT
June 8, 2021