Flood defence: time for a radical rethink

1. Flooding crises tend to follow an established pattern. First, there is immediate help and assistance. Then second, there is a “review”. On occasions, this leads to a third stage of genuine reform, but in most cases “sticking plasters” are applied. These are incremental and often sensible, but typically fail to address the core issues and hence provide only a temporary respite.

2. There are very good reasons why ”sticking plasters” will not work this time. The conventional approach to flood defence, carried out by the Environment Agency (EA),and...

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