Statement on the development of a hydrology roadmap for the UK

  22 March 2022

The flood hydrology roadmap sets out a vision for flood hydrology in the UK for the next 25 years. It is accompanied by an action plan that details how that vision will be achieved.

The roadmap will cover England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland from 2021 to 2046. It considers all sources of inland flooding, including fluvial, pluvial and sewers, groundwater and reservoirs. It also considers all inland flood hydrology activities in the UK, from operational practice to scientific research.

Vincent Fitzsimons, Head of Flooding and Hydrology at SEPA, said: “Scotland is already seeing the impacts of a changing climate. The last few years have seen an increase in water scarcity and localised, high-intensity rainfall events. We know that there is locked in climate change we cannot reverse - including sea level rise.

“This UK Flood Hydrology Roadmap provides us with a fantastic opportunity to better understand the science behind flooding and will be an invaluable tool in helping us understand future flood risk. SEPA and the equivalent organisations across the UK are working hard to ensure recommendations from the roadmap are followed up on so we can develop the next generation of flood hydrology knowledge, methods, models and systems that will underpin flood and coastal risk management for decades to come.

“The advances to methods and data will help us will underpin flood risk management, with benefits to areas including:

  • design and maintenance of flood defences;
  • national and local flood risk assessment and mapping;
  • the design and operation of flood forecasting and warning schemes;
  • design and operation of sustainable drainage systems; and
  • understanding the impact of climate change on future flood risk.”

The report is available to view here: flood hydrology roadmap

Notes to editor:
SEPA ensures Scotland’s communities and businesses are resilient to flooding through:

  • AVOIDING the risk of flooding to new communities and businesses.
  • PROTECTING communities and businesses already at risk through forward planning.
  • WARNING if flooding is imminent so action can be taken to reduce the impact.