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Flooding (Gloucestershire)

Volume 450: debated on Wednesday 11 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his assessment is of the changes in future risk of flooding in Gloucestershire from (a) the Severn and (b) the Wye as a result of (i) human impact on the physical environment and (ii) climate change. (90179)

The UK faces rising sea levels and more frequent floods and storms as a result of climate change, although there is still considerable uncertainty about the extent and timing of these changes.

In 2004, the then Office of Science and Technology’s Foresight report “Future Flooding” examined future flood and coastal defence in the UK. It found that annual economic losses to flooding would increase by the 2080s, although there is considerable uncertainty about the extent of that increase.

The Environment Agency integrates climate risk into its decision-making on flooding. For example, the Agency allows for an increase of 20 per cent. in peak flood flows in its assessment of future flood risk along the rivers Severn and Wye. It also assumes an annual 5 mm increase in predicted water levels in the Severn estuary as part of its planning for the possibility of future sea level rise.