Creating resilience to floods is not just a task for individuals. A long-term approach requires policies that link the necessary changes in land use, agriculture, housing and development. And it’s important to acknowledge that there isn’t a one size fits all response to this issue.
Managing floods naturally
Natural flood management (NFM) approaches address flood risk by protecting, restoring and emulating the natural regulating function of catchments and rivers. They help reduce flood risk by storing and slowing water, increasing flow connectivity, and increasing soil infiltration. NFM can provide environmentally sensitive approaches to minimising flood risk, to reduce flood risk in areas where hard flood defences are not feasible, and to increase the lifespan of existing flood defences. Practical applications of these techniques is being studied by the Natural Flood Management Programme.
Looking after our soil
A critical factor in flooding is the underlying state of the soil on which we depend critically but is relatively under researched. The Soil Security Programme’s aim was to increase this understanding and especially how soil reacts, recovers and adapts to land use and climate change. With extreme weather events more likely as climate changes this knowledge will be invaluable in maintaining healthy soil for the future. You can find out more about the Programme’s work and findings on the Soil Security Programme website.
Working with communities
Public engagement with research describes the many ways that members of the public can be involved in the design, conduct and dissemination of research. This is a two-way process with the goal of generating mutual benefit and the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition is just one example of this. The Loddon Catchment Partnership looks at environmental management from a slightly different perspective, studying the demand on water resources – providing clean drinking water, supporting local agriculture and business, recreational use and providing a home for wildlife. By working together, to share knowledge and deliver actions, the Partnership can protect and enhance the health of the catchment’s freshwater.