Towards sustainable flood management in Scotland

2nd August 2007

A briefing prepared by the Freshwater Taskforce of the Scottish Environment LINK on the implementation of Sustainable Flood Management (SFM) through primary legislation.

Climate change predictions suggest that Scotland is set to get wetter and stormier, increasing the risk of flooding. Therefore floods that are currently considered ‘extreme’ will become more common in future. The current flooding policies have seen millions of pounds invested into concrete flood prevention schemes, which only provide short-term solutions and often increase the risk of flooding elsewhere. An intention to introduce a new Flooding Bill was announced by the First Minister on 5 September. We see this as a major opportunity to implement a modern, sustainable approach to flood management. Sustainable Flood Management (SFM) is not a new concept in Scotland – it was embedded in the WEWS Act through a duty on Scottish Executive, SEPA and ‘responsible’ authorities to ‘promote SFM’. However, 4 years on and nothing has actually happened on the ground. Much work needs to be done to prepare for the Flooding Bill, which is discussed here in further detail.

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