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Thames Barrier

Volume 709: debated on Wednesday 1 April 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they monitor the height of the Thames Barrier as a measurement of climate change; and how many times the barrier has been closed in each month of the past five years. [HL2455]

The Thames Barrier has been closed 114 times in the 25 years that it has been operational. Twenty two of those have taken place in the past five years, with an additional five closures taking place in February this year. The table below indicates the distribution of these per month.

The Environment Agency's Thames Estuary 2100 project, which will be entering a public consultation document shortly, will indicate what actions may be needed to manage increasing tidal flood risk through to the end of the century. In understanding the effect of climate change, sea levels associated with Thames Barrier closures have been taken into account, together with the latest climate change science provided by the Met Office Hadley Centre.

Table Of Closures - March 2009

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

Jan

3

1

Feb

1

2

1

Mar

5

2

Apr

1

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

1

3

Dec

2

Total

2

5

1

11

3