The National Audit Office recently published a report on flooding as follows:
Heavy, persistent and widespread rain affected much of England when Storms Babet and Ciaran struck in October and November 2023. The Met Office reported that 18th to 20th October was the third wettest independent three-day period for England and Wales in a series dating back to 1891. The Environment Agency (EA) reported that, by the end of October, Storm Babet alone had caused 2,200 homes to be flooded.
There are four main sources of flood risk: rivers; the sea; surface water (when rainwater cannot drain away); and groundwater (where the water table level rises above ground).
EA estimates that, in 2022-23, approximately 5.7 million properties in England were at risk from flooding. This figure has increased by around 500,000 between 2021-22 and 2022-23. EA reports that this is due to a better understanding of the level of risk, through improved information, rather than an increase in risk. There is also risk to transport and utilities infrastructure from flooding. The Met Office’s UK climate projections show UK average temperatures increasing and sea levels rising. Its projections indicate more extreme weather events, including more intense rainfall. This, when combined with other factors such as more housing development, will increase flooding risks if mitigating actions are not taken.
The full report may be accessed here: