DEFRA Publishes Flood and Water Management Bill


Following the floods of 2007, and the subsequent review by Sir Michael Pitt, the Government has released its new Flood and Water Management Bill. The Bill has been drafted with businesses, homes and communities in mind, to better protect them from the risks of water shortages and flooding.
Under the Bill, local authorities have more power to deal with local flood risks themselves and are required to work with sewerage and water companies to unify strategies for risk management.
Lead local authorities will be responsible for investigating flooding in their areas (in the absence of national intervention) and will maintain a register of structures and features that they consider to have an impact on flood risk.
They will also be able to undertake works to reduce flood risks from groundwater and surface runoff, and the drainage systems for new developments will be assessed for the same reason.
The Environment Agency will be responsible for coastal erosion and overseeing flood risks on a national basis.  Local flood risk management strategies, controlled by local authorities, must be consistent with national strategy.
Drought legislation has not been updated since 1945 and reform is well overdue to reflect modern climate challenges. The Bill provides water companies with the power to restrict non-essential water usage, such as swimming pools.
The Bill can be downloaded here:

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