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Flooding and coastal change

Flooded tables and fences

Be prepared: vital advice from the Environment Agency, check the latest flood warnings, sign up for free flood alerts. If you are worried about flooding, phone 0845 988 1188 or to find how flooding affects you as an individual or business visit 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 alone, 2.8 million are at risk from surface water alone 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.

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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.

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. The National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy for England provides a national framework for local communities to develop local partnerships and solutions to the flood and coastal erosion risks they face, and underpins the partnership approach to funding flood and coastal resilience projects. The national strategy ensures that local decisions are made in a consistent way, and that decisions made in one area take account of impacts on another.

Key publications and documents

Internal Drainage Board Orders

Page last modified: 21 January 2013