Flood Risk Management

Flood Risk Management knowledge hub icon

Extreme weather events with large amounts of rain over a short period of time are forecast to increase the risk of flooding in Scotland. Sniffer’s flood risk management work builds networks, identifies knowledge gaps and delivers research management services to prepare for these risks.

Reducing flood risk and managing the floods that can’t be avoided is a high priority for local authorities, agencies and central government. Flood Risk Management is a policy area where the impacts are directly felt by communities and businesses across Scotland. Climate change is expected to increase flood risk, so we need to continually evaluate and improve how flooding is managed.

Getting it right
The Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act introduced in 2009 represents a new joined up and coordinated approach with a focus on managing flood risk sustainably. The Act emphasises taking action where the risks and benefits are the greatest.

The Scottish Government objectives for this approach are:

  1. A reduction in the number of people, homes and properties at risk of flooding as a result of public funds being invested in actions that protect the most vulnerable and those areas at greatest risk of flooding;
  2. Rural and urban landscapes with space to store and slow down the progress of floods;
  3. Integrated drainage that decreases burdens on our sewer systems while also delivering reduced flood risk and an improved water environment;
  4. A well-informed public who understand flood risk and adopt actions to protect themselves, their property or their businesses, and;
  5. Flood management actions undertaken that will stand the test of time and be adaptable to future changes in the climate.

This innovative and forward looking approach has already had a range of benefits:

  • Better planning processes and tools 
  • Increased stakeholder engagement 
  • More integrated approaches and partnership working 
  • Improved data and knowledge sharing 

What next?
The Flood Risk Management Strategies were published in December 2015 and the Local Flood Risk Management Plans are due in June 2016. This represents the start of the implementation phase under the Act and should deliver real benefit to communities and businesses across Scotland.

We also host the annual Flood Risk Management Conference. You can see outputs from the last conference here


EC floods directive

Flood Risk management (Scotland) Act

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