Communities devastated by groundwater to receive support
Lambourn Valley and Pang Valley included in the pilot for Project Groundwater
Groundwater flooding can be devastating but the lack of information and management techniques available often leaves communities with little support. Without effective mapping and modelling, groundwater flooding can seem to come out of nowhere, with communities and management authorities not understanding how to prepare and respond. Project Groundwater Chiltern Hills and Berkshire Downs is here to change that. Over the next four years, it will develop modelling techniques and a flood warning service for groundwater flooding, working in collaboration with the community to help protect their homes and businesses.
Led by Buckinghamshire Council, Project Groundwater will work with communities in nine areas of the Chiltern Hills and Berkshire Downs at high risk of groundwater flooding. Lambourn Valley and Pang Valley in West Berkshire are included in the pilot where the project will gather local knowledge about floods and look at developing solutions on the ground, to ensure residents are better prepared for groundwater flooding. Findings from the project could benefit hundreds of communities and thousands of properties at risk of groundwater flooding across the region. The project's findings will also support a national understanding of how to manage groundwater flooding.
To ensure that the project responds to the community's needs, a recent survey explored the levels of current understanding and concern regarding flooding in the nine pilot communities. 89% of people surveyed wanted additional support to manage flooding locally. The survey highlighted that residents need more information about the options available to help them adapt to flooding, how their community might be affected, and the cost-effective solutions they can apply.
When asked about their concern for groundwater flooding, 94% of people responded that they felt some level of concern, with over a quarter of residents reporting themselves as being very concerned.
Mary Long-Dhonau OBE, FloodMary, an expert in property flood resilience, said:
"Being flooded is an appalling experience, with the average householder displaced for 9 months whilst the house is dried and repaired. Groundwater flooding is hard to comprehend and is much longer in duration than river or surface water flooding. The flood can last for weeks, not days or hours. Anything that can be done to both raise awareness and to support those who live at risk gets a huge FloodMary seal of approval!"
This project is funded by Defra as part of the £200 million Flood and Coastal Innovation Programmes which is managed by the Environment Agency. The programmes will drive innovation in flood and coastal resilience and adaptation to a changing climate.
For more information, please visit: www.projectgroundwater.co.uk
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