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Flooding and coastal change

Flooded tables and fences

Affected by flooding? If you are worried about flooding, phone 0845 988 1188 or see latest flood warnings. To find how flooding affects you as an individual or business visit Directgov, Business Link or the Environment Agency Flood pages.

In England, 5.2 million properties are at risk of flooding. Of these, 1.4 million are at risk from rivers or the sea, 2.8 million are at risk from surface water and 1 million are at risk from both. There are also an estimated 200 homes at risk of complete loss to coastal erosion in the next 20 years. It is possible 2,000 more could become at risk over this period.

Latest news

Who is responsible for managing the risks?

Defra has national policy responsibility for flood and coastal erosion risk management. Defra does not build or manage flood defences. Instead, government provides funding through grants to the Environment Agency and local authorities. The Environment Agency also administers grants for capital projects to local authorities and Internal Drainage Boards. The Environment Agency’s investment is guided by outcome targets over the current spending review period.

What government is doing

The government has committed to take forward the findings of the Pitt Review to improve our flood defences, and prevent unnecessary building in areas of high flood risk. The Pitt Review was carried out following devastating flooding in 2007, and resulted in a series of recommendations for improving the way flood risk is managed in England.

Flood and coastal erosion risk management continues to represent a significant part of Defra’s spending.

Key publications and documents

Page last modified: 7 March 2011