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The on-line magazine for the water management industry

and its environment

in association with www.fadsdirectory.com

Spring 2015


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Contents FLOOD RISK

£140m brought forward for flood defence

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£140m flood funding brought forward

EFRA seeks clarification on availability of £600m Private sector funding for flood defences Eels or flood defence

No home to be at high flood risk by 2025 Capaign for flood free homes

European Commission approves UK flood reinsurance scheme Qualifying the benefits of flood risk management

Flood funding cuts after the election could jeopardise targets – CIWEM report

Shifnal - a succesful Flood partnership

What makes SuDS best practice

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Industrial Penstocks win contract race in Dubai

The Shifnal Flood PartnershipGroup - One year on By Bob Haddon (SFPG Chairman)

STORMWATER & SuDS

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14 - 16 17

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Surface Water Storage with Vortex Power

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What Makes SuDS Best Practice - Alex Stephenson

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Water Pollution Management Service Launched

RIVER RESTORATION & MANAGEMENT

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The New Channel Management Handbook

29 - 30

New river restoration qualification developed in Wales

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Loddon Rivers Week - A flowing success

Winning the war on destructive invasive fish

DIRECTORY

Contact

General Enquiries content@managingwater.co.uk Tel: 0845 2 575 575

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New SuDS Requirements Implemented - Chris Hodson

£15m Moorland restoration will reduce flood risk

Ham Mill Lock restoration

10 - 11

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Ham Mill Lock Restoration - Cotswold Canals

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Delivering SuDS Through Planning: The Road to “Sensible SuDS”? Alex Stephenson,

Clever engineering to restore wildlife and improve water quality

Clever engineering restores wildlife and improves water quality

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Advertising advertising@managingwater.co.uk Tel: 0845 2 575 575

32 - 33 34 - 35 36

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40 - 41

Editorial articles@managingwater.co.uk Tel: 0845 2 575 575

Subscriptions subscribe@managingwater.co.uk Tel: 0845 2 575 575

Published by: Relbon Ltd, Company Reg 07488993 Relbon House, 27, Derwent Close, Huntingdon, Cambs, PE29 6UT, UK, admin@relbon.co.uk

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£140m brought forward for flood protection schemes In the recent Budget, it was announced that more than 31,000 homes and businesses will be better protected from the risk of flooding sooner

The government is bringing forward more than £140 million of the £2.3 billion six-year flood defence programme announced in December to better protect more than 31,000 homes and businesses from flooding sooner than planned. 47 brand new schemes have been given the green light as part of the long-term investment programme and work will start on another 165 flood defence projects earlier than previously announced.

The 6 year programme represents a real terms increase in expenditure and will reduce flood risk across the country by 5%.

“We’ve already protected 230,000 homes from the risk of flooding and coastal erosion so far this Parliament.

We’re now bringing forward more money to protect thousands more homes and businesses sooner than originally planned, as part of our long-term economic plan.” Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss

Around the regions..

“This programme of more than 1,500 flood risk management schemes will significantly reduce flood risk to more than 300,000 properties in England by 2021, benefiting people, the economy and the environment. Government funding has also been brought forward meaning that over 30,000 properties will benefit from reduced flood risk earlier than originally planned.

Our priority is to do as much as we can with every pound of funding from government and local partners, but of course the risk of flooding can never be entirely eliminated.”

Environment Agency Chairman Sir Philip Dilley

Images courtesy of the Environment Agency

YORKSHIRE

More than £25 million is being brought forward with10 brand new schemes having been given the green light and work will start on another 11 flood defence projects earlier than previously announced. Key projects include:

• New work as part of the flood risk management scheme at Holgate Beck, York will now start to be developed to ensure that 1,400 homes are better protected from flooding. • Development of the first phase of improved sea defences between Immingham and Freshney have been brought forward by two years and will benefit 2,300 households. • The flood defence scheme at Great Ayton, which will see more than 90 homes better protected, will now begin development work three years earlier than originally planned.

Construction of a flood wall as part of Phase 3 of the Todmorden flood alleviation scheme in Yorkshire, which was completed in 2013 at a total cost of around £13 million.

continued page 6

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NORTH EAST

More than £4 million is being brought forward, a brand new scheme at Craster Harbour has been given the green light and work will begin on nine flood defence projects sooner than originally planned. The key projects across the North East include:

• The development of a scheme at Newmarket Walk in South Shields has been brought forward by two years to protect 85 homes. • The Guisborough Flood Alleviation scheme at Skelton Beck and Chapel Beck has been brought forward by two years and will protect 94 homes.

• The development of a new scheme at Craster Harbour will begin in 2017/18 to provide better protection from flooding to around 50 homes in the area.

The newly-completed flood wall in Stanhope, County Durham, part of a £250,000 project to reduce flooding from the River Wear for more than 100 homes. Work was completed earlier this month.

NORTH WEST

In the North West, more £16 million will be brought forward for two key projects, which are:

• The development of Fairhaven and Church Scar coast protection programme has been brought forward by three years to ensure that around 2,100 homes are better protected from flooding. • The development of the scheme at Broadgate and Lower Penwortham in Preston has been brought forward by a year and will protect 2,900 homes, of which around 600 are planned to be better protected by 2021.

The Environment Agency is working to replace 2km of existing sea wall and promenade at Rossall and Anchorshome, along the Fylde coast in Lancashire. The scheme will reduce flood risk to over 14,000 homes and businesses and reduce flooding of local roads, tramway network, a major sewage pumping station and public utilities. The new sea defences will also provide an improved promenade and recreational areas. The scheme will cost around £100 million. The Environment Agency is planning to complete works in Anchorsholme by 2016 and in Rossall by 2018.

EAST MIDLANDS

£13 million is being brought forward with four brand new schemes getting the green light and work starting earlier on 21 flood defence projects.

The key projects across the East Midlands include:

• A scheme at Cocker Beck in Lowdham, Nottinghamshire has been brought forward by five years and will protect around 280 homes from flooding.

• The development of a scheme at Brackley has been brought forward by four years.

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The flood wall at Trent Meadows, part of Nottingham Left Bank scheme, the largest inland flood defence scheme ever built. Completed in 2012 and costing £45 million to build, it protects 16,000 homes and businesses along 27 kilometres of the River Trent from Sawley to Colwick.

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WEST MIDLANDS

In the West Midlands over £8 million is being brought forward with four brand new schemes getting the go ahead and works starting earlier than planned 25 flood defence projects. The key projects across the West Midlands include:

• The River Bourn Flood Alleviation Scheme has been brought forward by five years. It will help to protect against the risk of flooding from the River Rea to around 370 homes.

• The scheme at St John’s Brook in Warwick has been brought forward by 4 years and will protect more than 350 households in the area.

• The Marchington Brook Flood Alleviation Scheme which is new into the programme - will provide improved protection to around 30 homes from flooding from the River Dove and will start development in 2016/17.

Construction of the £3.5million Fazeley section of the £11.5 million Lower Tame flood scheme, which protects more than 2,000 residential properties along the River Tame in the West Midlands. The scheme was completed in 2014.

continued page 9

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EAST OF ENGLAND

In the East more than £16 million is being brought forward and 8 brand new schemes have been given the green light and another 5 flood defence projects will be starting earlier than previously announced. The key projects are: • Phase 2 of the Great Yarmouth Flood Alleviation Scheme will start one year ahead of schedule.

• A property level protection scheme for communities around the Great Ouse has been brought into the 6 year programme and will help better protect around 80 homes from flooding.

• The Fenstanton Risk Management project is a new scheme to investigate options to address river flooding from the Great Ouse. The work will assess and address flood risk to approximately 100 properties at risk.

Constructing Barrowfield flood wall in Edmonton. The Environment Agency is building a £15.3 million flood alleviation scheme to reduce the risk of flooding from Salmons Brook. This multi-site scheme will protect almost 1,400 properties and is due to be completed later in 2015.

SOUTH EAST

In the South East £41 million is being brought forward and 10 brand new schemes have been given the green light ane work will start on another 40 flood defence projects earlier than previously announced. The key projects across the South East include: • A scheme in Southsea which will ensure that more than 2,300 homes are better protected from flooding has been brought forward by two years.

• The development of the Great Stour Flood Alleviation scheme, between Wye and Fordwich, has been brought forward by three years, to protect more than 1,300 homes. • The Flood Alleviation Scheme at Marlow is a scheme brought into the programme which will help better protect around 280 properties from flooding and construction is planned to start in 2016.

10 tonne rocks being delivered to Broomhill Sands, to form part of the £30 million coastal defence scheme located between Camber and Jury’s Gap. The scheme will better protect 1,300 homes and over 100 businesses from flood risk and is due to be completed by the end of 2015. It is part of the Folkestone to Cliff End Strategy which, once complete, will reduce flood risk for 14,500 homes

SOUTH WEST

Over £11 million is being brought forward with three brand new schemes getting the green light and work starting earlier on 37 flood defence projects. The key projects include:

• Starcross and Cockwood Tidal scheme will provide better protection from flooding to around 660 homes and has been brought forward by three years. • The scheme at Creekmoor, Poole has been brought forward by four years and will reduce flood risk for almost 300 households by 2021.

• Improvements to the coastal scheme at West Bay, near Bridport, Dorset will begin development five years earlier and reduce flood risk for around 250 homes.

Flood repair work at Minsterworth, Gloucestershire to protect homes from flooding of the River Severn. The work was part of a £4.5 million programme of work across the Midlands, completed in October 2014.

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EFRA seeks clarification on availability of £600m Private sector funding for flood defences

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee queries Government plans to attract £600 million from external funders to bolster flood defences. In its report on Defra Performance in 2013-14, the cross-party Committee cites low levels of private funding attracted to date as a cause for concern about ambitious future plans.

Committee Chair, Anne McIntosh MP commented: “The Government has committed £2.3 billion in capital funding for six years’ investment aimed at protecting 300,000 properties, but that plan relies on external contributions of £600 million.

Eels or flood defence

Huge costs, possibly in excess of £150 million, are set to be incurred by the operators of land drainage pumps in order to safeguard eels, with most of that cost being met through, already tight, flood defence budgets. The steps are being taken in order to meet obligations towards the European Commission’s Eel Recovery Plan (Council Regulation 1100/2007). The Eel Regulations came into force in January 2010 following the drastic decline of the eel population by as much as 95%. Eels are migratory and whilst steps are being taken to remove or provide access around the 26,000 barriers in our rivers, the cost of doing so huge.

The pumping stations, that provide the low lying regions with protection against flooding, will need upgrading to allow safe passage and protection for the eels. In a report carried out in 2012 it was confirmed that within the Anglian Region alone there are approximately 450 land drainage pumping stations which are operated in the main by the Internal Drainage Boards.

We support the principle that the private sector should help to fund new flood defence schemes, but we have repeatedly expressed concern about the relatively small amounts of private sector funding secured to date under the Partnership Funding approach, with only £40 million of the £148 million secured up to 2014-15 coming from sources beyond local government.

It is unclear how the £600 million target can be met, and we want Defra to demonstrate how it intends to obtain that money and to explain the impact on its investment programme if the money does not come forward.”

The Committee also repeats its call on Government to move to a total expenditure classification for flood risk management and flags that revenue funding would benefit from a six-year funding commitment alongside capital. The Committee believes revenue and capital spending must be balanced to ensure both receive the same priority.

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Fish friendly pumpsIn Cambridgeshire, the Ely group of Internal Drainage Boards, which manages a total of 29 pumping stations across ten drainage board catchments, has been told that the cost for compliance with the regulations for just 2 of the 29 pumping stations would cost £3m. The IDB that operates the pumping stations does so on an annual income of £700,000, made up from drainage rates and levy's. The Middle Level Commissioners, manage 33 Internal Drainage Boards, one of which would incur a cost of £1.8 million for upgrading just one pumping station. In Norfolk, the Downham Market group manages six IDB's, and calculated that the cost to upgrade pumps and provide safe eel passage around other barriers would cost in the region of £12 million.

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On these few cases alone it stands to reason that the costs across the UK could well be in the hundreds of millions, which is a lot more than the initial Environment Agency assessment of £75 million.

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The campaign for flood free homes

“Without adequate long-term investment in flood defence protection that reflects the increasing threat, a zero tolerance towards building in flood risk areas and political agreement, too many communities will continue to live with the constant fear of flooding.” Huw Evans, Deputy Director General at the ABI

“Managing flood risk should be a national priority across Government, with everyone playing their part and we still have a long way to go.” Paul Cobbing, Chief Executive of the National Flood Forum

“It's not right that the human and economic costs of climate change are pushed onto those most vulnerable to flooding - we need to tackle this huge problem together."

Guy Shrubsole, Friends of the Earth climate campaigner

“We urgently need a cross party consensus for managing floods, one that will address all forms of flood risk, one with an ambitious long term goal that will embrace innovation and investment to reduce flood risk.”

Mary Dhonau, Chair of the Flood Protection Group Property Care Association and Chief Executive of the Know Your Flood Risk Campaign 12

Flood Risk & Drainage

No home to be at high flood risk by 2025 The campaign for Flood Free Homes was launched earlier this year, by the Association of British Insurers, supported by Friends of the Earth, Know Your Flood Risk, National Flood Forum, BRE Centre for Resilience and the Property Care Association’s Flood Protection Group.

Flood, the greatest natural threat

Flooding has long been recognised as the greatest natural threat the UK faces. With Environment Agency data showing around 2 million homes in England and Wales at flood risk now from the rivers and sea, with over 500,000 of these at ‘moderate’ risk or greater, and around 2.4 million additional homes at risk of surface water flooding, we know this is a serious problem facing the country today. Without action to reduce the risk across the UK, the effect on our homes, businesses, communities, infrastructure and way of life is potentially devastating.

The aim of the campaign is to raise the issue of long term flood defence investment and land and water management with an invest, adapt and plan strategy.

Invest

By 2025 £1bn per year to be spent on managing flood risk in order to keep pace with climate change The most effective way to protect communities at risk of flooding is with well-maintained defences. Cuts in funding for these defences undermine their effectiveness in protecting millions of people from flooding.

We welcome the extra funding provided by the 2014 spending review after investment was drastically reduced in 2011. However, in order to address the growing flood www.fadsdirectory.com

risk through new and properly maintained defences, current and future UK governments must increase funding to £1 billion a year by 2025.

Adapt

A zero tolerance of inappropriate new developments in areas at risk of flooding Despite existing planning laws, 20,000 new properties are built on flood risk areas each year, including 4,000 in areas of significant flood risk. Planning rules must be properly applied by local and regional planning authorities to all new developments. This means no inappropriate developments in flood risk areas and no developments that directly or indirectly increase the flood risk to other properties.

Tougher sanctions are also needed for developers or landowners who breach planning guidance relating to flood risk.

Plan

Cross-party consensus on ambitious long-term solutions that manage all types of flood risk In order to properly tackle the problem of flooding there is a need to set cross-party, ambitious, long-term goals to better coordinate national and local strategies. A step change in prioritising new solutions that consider all aspects of flooding, now and in the future, is needed. Over the long term, flood risk needs to be managed within an overall strategy of managing land and water.

Further information on the capaign can be found by visiting:

www.floodfreehomes.org.uk


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European Commission approves UK flood reinsurance scheme

The European Commission has approved under EU state aid rules a UK reinsurance scheme aimed at ensuring the availability of domestic insurance at affordable prices for flood-related damage. The scheme ("Flood Re") will set up a pool to provide reinsurance for the flood risk element from those households deemed at high risk of flooding. It will be funded partially by an industry-wide levy, which may confer an economic advantage to the pool over its competitors and involve state aid. However, the Commission has concluded that the scheme is compatible with EU state aid rules, because such insurance cover might not otherwise be sufficiently available on the private market, and the scheme remedies the market failure without unduly distorting competition. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: "This decision ensures that insurance coverage against high flood risks is available at affordable prices to those UK citizens who need it most, because they live in regions vulnerable to flooding. It is a great illustration of how the Commission and Member States can work together to design effective aid measures that contribute to important public policy goals."

In November 2014, the UK notified to the Commission plans to set up Flood Re, a nonprofit flood risk reinsurance pool, which will be run and financed by insurers. Flood Re aims at preventing a market failure for domestic property insurance in certain areas by allowing insurers to transfer the highest flood risk elements to the pool at a set premium. The terms of the scheme allow insurers to compound risk – they will pay claims to policy holders as usual on flood risks transferred to the pool and then recover those costs from the scheme. At the same time, it ensures affordable prices for the policy holder, i.e. the end consumer, given that their premiums are capped for insurers participating in the scheme. Participation in the scheme is voluntary and insurers also retain the possibility to reinsure such risks in the general reinsurance market.

The pool will be funded entirely by the UK domestic property insurance industry itself through premiums passed on by the insurers as well as a levy charged to all insurance companies active in the market, depending on market share. Since Flood Re would be the only flood reinsurer benefitting from this levy, it could confer on it an economic advantage over its competitors and therefore constitute state aid within the meaning of EU rules. The Commission assessed whether such aid could be found compatible with EU Treaty rules, which allow certain categories of aid that further objectives of common interest, provided that competition distortions are limited. It concluded that the scheme facilitates the provision of flood insurance cover at affordable prices in areas where no or insufficient cover would otherwise be available. It further found that the aid is appropriate and proportional for achieving this goal. Moreover, the scheme is open on the same terms to all companies providing domestic property insurance in the UK. This will ensure that the distortions of competition are minimised.

Finally, the scheme is a transitional measure, which will be phased out after an estimated period of 20 to 25 years, by which time market conditions should enable insurers to price flood insurance depending on risk but at affordable levels. In order to make the risk reflective pricing of such domestic flood insurance sustainable, during this period the UK authorities have committed to invest in infrastructure to improve flood risk management in the UK. For example, a specific program to improve flood defence is planned in 2015-2016. Furthermore, a standard flood risk report template will be provided to insurers with information on the effects of the measures implemented in terms of resistance and resilience to facilitate the reflection of flood risk management in insurance contracts.

The Commission therefore concluded that the scheme was in line with EU state aid rules

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Qualifying the benefits of flood risk management New tools to help quantify the benefits of flood risk management have been developed by a team of researchers from Jeremy Benn Associates and Flood Hazard Research Centre led by CH2M Hill. The research was funded by the Environment Agency and Defra Joint R&D Programme. A challenge for Flood Risk Managers is that large flood defence projects are not always suitable, affordable or sustainable and in such instances, other actions to manage the flood risk have to be considered such as individual property level protection. Even when a large flood defence project is affordable, there are often important actions which enable the project to perform, such as the provision of an accurate flood warning so flood gates can be closed. The toolkit has been developped to assist in effectively assessing the benefit of these different and often interacting management actions.

To view the full report, Quantifying the benefits of flood risk management actions and advice, click the image

• property level resistance and resilience, for example, flood-proof gates/doors/airbrick covers and raised electrical wall sockets • moving household contents out of the way of flood water • provision of development management advice, for example, where the Environment Agency influences the planning process These methods also can help quantify the benefits associated which enabling activities including the provision of flood forecasts and flood warnings and raising public awareness of flood risk.

There are also tools and a supporting user guide to help calculate values of flood damages avoided. Two spreadsheet analysis tools have been developed to

There are four main elements

The first is a framework designed to help visualise the complex relationships between the possible actions to manage flood risk. The framework is a conceptual model of the flood risk management system, designed to help flood risk managers:

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• explore a fuller range of flood risk management options

• identify and justify the selection the right flood management option(s)

• understand the links and dependencies between difference flood risk management actions and account for these links in decisions New Methods have been developed to help quantify the amount flood risk avoided or potential benefits associated with the ‘with project options’. These methods express benefits in terms of annual average property damage avoided for the following groups of flood management actions:

• operation of flood defences that depends on a flood forecast or warning, for example, tidal barriers or gates 14

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implement the quantification methods described above. The two tools are targeted at routine and more complex appraisal.

Finally there are data tables with associated reference sources to allow flood risk managers to complete the calculations required. Through a literature review and case study analysis we have developed a dataset of percentage amounts of property damages avoided. This set of data represents a national average. These data are provided in the report, with guidance on application in for different scales of study.

When and where the research could be useful

As a result of consultations, with a range of flood risk managers, a range of situations were identified where the research would be useful. • You are developing details of a property level protection scheme for a community, particularly if you are interested in understanding how sensitive the benefits might be to the timeliness and accuracy of a flood warning. • You are promoting a new scheme to improve the forecasting and warning capability in your area and/or you are planning a flood awareness campaign and you would like to estimate what the economic benefits of these activities might be.

• You are comparing options for a flood defences scheme which includes movable (active) elements that have to be closed on receipt of a flood warning. In particular, you would like to know how the benefits of that scheme might differ from to a more passively designed option.

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DESIGN. ENVIRONMENT. SUSTAINABILITY. Hydro International’s leading consultancy is founded on over 30 years of experience in water engineering design and implementation, with our clients served by an expert team. Our services include: • Flood Risk Management. • Flood Risk Assessments (FRA). • Site Development Design. • Sustainable Drainage (SuDS). • Water Pollution Management (WPM). • Sustainable Water Management (SWiM).

Helping with national level planning and prioritisation of investment

This research has been used to help national level planning and prioritisation of investment in the flood risk management. It has been used in drawing up the Environment Agency’s long-term investment strategy and in the Flood Incident Management Investment Review.

This research is also helping the Environment Agency understand how effective the provision of its development management advice is and is informing the redesign of the approach to the National Flood Risk Assessment (NaFRA).

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The complete framework

The diagram below presents the complete assessment framework. The type of responses that directly achieve a benefit are listed on the right of the flow chart, together with examples. The rest of the flow chart shows the sequences of actions and investment that enable the responses to achieve benefits in terms of flood damages avoided.

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Flood funding cuts after the election could jeopardise targets – CIWEM report

The level of funding directed at flood risk management has become something of a political football with politicians claiming bragging rights over which government has spent more. However complex funding structures and extensive administrative changes since 2011 make direct comparison misleading.

CIWEM has carried out a report which focusses on how effectively available funding is being delivered and whether the current government's investment plans and ambition match the latest evidence on what measures need to be taken to combat future flood risk and flooding caused by climate change.

The key findings of the report are as follows: Funding cuts:

Following the General Election, any cuts to flood funding could immediately put targets in jeopardy. Long term plans are also reliant on additional efficiency savings being made and partnership funding to supplement central government funds. The partnership approach is still in its infancy and should be monitored closely to ensure that it is growing in line with Defra's ambition. Short-termism:

The short-term approach currently taken to funding maintenance of existing flood defences does not optimise their long term cost-effectiveness. While budgets for new and improved defences and have recently been confirmed over a six year period, maintenance and support budgets have yet to be granted the same certainty and may suffer as a result. CIWEM believes maintenance should receive the same priority.

Poor planning control:

Development control continues to allow inappropriate development in the floodplain which risks increasing the future funding burden of flood risk management. Currently, the Environment Agency only comments on developments of ten or more buildings. A large number of smaller developments pass through planning without Environment Agency scrutiny. It is essential that where any development, large or small, does take place local planning authorities demand effective mitigation and resilience measures.

Lead Local Flood Authorities should ensure that local flood risk management strategies, required to be produced since 2011 but still extensively absent, are completed as quickly as possible to achieve this and secure future funding.

Insurance inadequacies: flood Re, the government supported reinsurance scheme which begins in 2015 will provide welcome support for flood prone residents over the next 25 years. However as it is currently formulated it is not cost effective and does not help people to implement property level protection so that their homes are insurable when the scheme ends. "The UK has one of the most forward thinking and internationally regarded approaches to managing flood risk in the world. It is important that whoever forms the government after the general election confirms their commitment to funding both capital and maintenance costs at a level and on timescales which enable the benefits of this approach to be realised." CIWEM's Chief Executive, Dr Simon Festing

The full report is avaliable here.

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Industrial Penstocks win contract race in Dubai

A groundbreaking new design has helped Industrial Penstocks (part of F J Holdings Ltd) win an important new contract in Dubai to design, manufacture, supply and supervise the installation of a high-head special stainless steel grade 316 Penstock.

Located at a wastewater pumping station in Nad Al Sheba, best known for its horse racing course, the 2400mm x 2400mm square Penstock was designed to suit a 15m on-and-off-seating head.

Utilising the very latest in CAD and FEA (finite element analysis) software, Industrial Penstocks says it is pushing penstock design further than other manufacturers to meet the exacting requirements in the Middle East for greatly reduced leakage tolerances.

Paul Higginson, Director at Industrial Penstocks explained: “Despite strong competition, we demonstrated our proven high-head design track record to win this contract – and showed that we are able to fully comply with the Dubai Municipality’s specification”.

He added: “The tolerances that are specified in the Gulf States are far more testing than anywhere else in the world, but we have geared ourselves up to meet the challenge and go beyond”

The on-site hydraulic test in Dubai recorded that the design, manufacture and installation of the Penstock performed a near drop-tight solution. Results recorded were 50% less than allowed. 18

The Penstock is the second of its kind in the region to be supplied and installed by Industrial Penstocks. The inaugural Penstock was also 2400mm x 2400mm sq, though suitable for a 21.5m on-and-off-seating head. Industrial Penstocks has also previously supplied heavyduty 2000mm diameter, 16 bar rated knife gates valves at the Al Wathba wastewater treatment plant in Abu Dhabi, as well as 96 Special Duplex Stainless Steel Penstocks for the Ras Az Zawr Desalination plant in Saudi Arabia. In addition to Industrial Penstocks, FJ Holdings also offers fluid control expertise through its expanding group of companies, including: IVL Flow Control, Industrial Valves, Ham Baker Adams and Industrial Pipeline Solutions. www.industrialpenstocks.co.uk sales@industrialpenstocks.co.uk +44 (0) 1384 458411

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Flood Risk & Drainage

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The Shifnal Flood Partnership Group - One year on

It all started in January 2014, when we discussed about the possibility of setting up a flood group, with the help of the National Flood Forum. We were all invited to meet at a local watering hole with the hint of suggestion there might be a free drink (we are still waiting!). We talked about the setting up a flood group to deal with all our concerns on flooding in our town, to encompass thoughts from across Shifnal, listen to everybody and all ideas and proactively deal with flood risk. Since the major floods of June 2007, there had been numerous attempts by local residents to form community flood action groups but unfortunately they did not possess the secret element of success (the National Flood Forum). The simple premise of creating a partnership involving our group, local council, county council, the water company, the Environment Agency, other non-government organisations and housing developers was undertaken with apprehension (cavorting with the enemy...!). We soon realised we knew nothing, so began the process of gleaming and learning the technical elements of attenuation and resilience in our

catchment area. With the kind facilitation of the Environment Agency and Severn Trent Water, we walked the brook (main river) through our market town, visited the sewage works, pumping station, balancing lake, reservoirs and any other feature which we considered either an asset or potential problem (pinch points, neglected hazards and special locations; I could bore you to death with the list...) .

Finding the pinch points on the Wesley Brook (Photo: Colin Dalziel, SFPG)

We created a webpage (www.sfpg.bt.co.uk), made presentations to our local forum meeting, and our local council endeavouring to get out there and be known and recognised in our community. Since November 2014, we have held two types of meetings:

Shifnal Flood Partnership Group walk the Wesley Brook with the Environment Agency (Photo: Colin Daziel, SFPG)

1. One traditional multi-agency meeting held with flood risk management organizations, including: Severn Trent Water, Environment Agency, Shropshire Council, Shifnal Town Council and Shropshire Council. This meeting was to discuss all our on-going issues identified on our rolling flood action plan, such as tackling pinch points, quashing flooding conspiracy theories, ideas for flood defences and our own future resilience.

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By Bob Haddon (SFPG Chairman)

2. Two specific meetings to discuss developments across Shifnal, held with eight developers (how many did you expect when they are building thousands of homes in your back garden!), supported by attendance of all the multi-agencies listed above. The meetings were really useful for building trust and relationships between the group and developers; we will now be meeting individual developers on an ad hoc basis based on urgency and need.

Oh, I almost forgot to say that none of the above would have happened without the National Flood Forum who gave us confidence, ideas and mentored us at every step of the way. They are brilliant and we would never have obtained the meagre sum of 1⁄2 million pounds to assist in our future flooding plans in our little (overdeveloped) wonderful market town without them. Our sincere thanks go to the National Flood Forum and in particular the boss Heather Shepherd (The Mentor) and Hannah Tankard (The Facilitator): they sound like characters from Greek Mythology or a spy movie! Sincerely outstanding; two ladies that I, and Shifnal, will be eternally grateful to for all their help. It’s not over yet, we still have so much to do in managing flood risk but we have the building blocks in place and we’re ready for action.

Looking for hazards along the Wesley Brook (Photo: Colin Dalziel, SFPG)

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SuDS & Surface Water Management


Stormwater & SuDS

Alex Stephenson,

www.managingwater.co.uk

Alex has 40 years experience in stormwater drainage design and related issues. As well as being the UK Stormwater Director with Hydro International he is also Chairman of the British Water SuDS focus group. He is ideally situated to keep you up to date with the industry changes and legislation.

There has been a strong – and mixed - industry response to the Government’s revised plans for implementation of Sustainable Drainage Systems on new developments. With the new regime now in place, stakeholders must avoid an outcome that engenders a ‘postcode lottery’ and instead use the opportunity to plot a way forward for what might be called “Sensible SuDS”.

The planning system now incorporates an ‘expectation’ for SuDS on new developments of 10 properties or more. The consultation also sets out a requirement to demonstrate how SuDS components will be effectively maintained.

The Government’s revised proposals are, at least in part, a response to fears that the original proposals (under the Flood and Water Management Act) might have discouraged new homes building by increasing development time, construction and landopportunity costs. There may also have been a concern that Local Authorities were not all ready to begin operating the proposed SuDS Approving Bodies and more importantly, to maintain and adopt the SuDS.

In attempting to draw a line under the SuDS delivery debate that began with the Pitt Review,

Delivering SuDS Through Planning:

The Road to “Sensible SuDS”?

Defra and DCLG may have initially raised more questions than answers.

• Will developers have too much leeway to avoid using SuDS and their consequent maintenance responsibilities? • Will a focus on local authority planning approval lead to a plethora of local guidance which will create an environmental “postcode lottery” for SuDS? • Is there insufficient emphasis on treatment and environmental water quality?

• Will increasing the limit for SuDS to 10 properties encourage developers to build more, smaller schemes? • How will local planning authorities get consistent and robust expert guidance to ensure effective SuDS delivery?

• Do the proposals really cover off maintenance or, in practice, will they see SuDS left unadopted or neglected? We have seen some examples of this already both in both Scotland and England.

Sharing Best Practice

engineers, local authorities, developers, water companies and equipment suppliers to all share, and learn from best practice is key. For me, that means a robust understanding of what makes for “Sensible SuDS”: Schemes that satisfy quality, quantity, biodiversity and amenity objectives, and mimic the best that nature can do in terms of managing surface water as close as possible to where it falls. Sensible SuDS can often translate into a combination of above-ground landscaped features and manufactured devices that come together to achieve the best that current technology can offer. Of course, all SuDS are engineered in some way, and increasingly the focus will be on demonstrating how that engineering can remain effective through appropriate ownership and maintenance.

CIRIA’s expected update to the SuDS manual is more important than ever in providing a national framework for best practice. To be effective that framework must reflect a truly pragmatic and sensible approach to meeting source control and water quality objectives using the entire SuDS toolbox.

To some extent, these questions will only be answered in the delivery. The need for

See article on page 24

Contact Alex by:email: alex.stephenson@hydro-international.co.uk Telephone: 01275 878371

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New SuDS Requirements Chris Hodson, Interpave Implemented New Government requirements for SuDS on developments in England came into force on 6th April and are being implemented through the planning system. Although the planning system’s ability to actually deliver mainstream use of SuDS is questionable, Interpave welcomes the move towards a design-led approach, developing multi-functional SuDS integrated with urban design.

The DCLG ministerial statement first issued in December 2014 now sits alongside the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) as an additional policy, spelling out “the Government’s expectation … that sustainable drainage systems will be provided in new developments wherever this is appropriate”. The new measures must be applied by local planning authorities (LPAs) through local policies and plans, as well as planning application decisions on ‘major developments’ of 10 or more dwellings and equivalent nonresidential or mixed developments. However, this situation might change as the Government intends to “keep this under review, and consider the need to make adjustments where necessary”.

Meanwhile, existing NPPF prioritisation of SuDS in areas of flood risk and requirements that developments should not make flood risk worse elsewhere – often by utilising SuDS – still apply to developments of any scale. Also, permitted development rights for new or replacement hard surfaces, such as drives and car parks, around homes and non-domestic premises still only apply where permeable paving or similar solutions are used.

Under the new arrangements, from mid-April ‘Lead Local Flood Authorities’ (at county or unitary level) will become statutory consultees on surface water management for planning applications. LPAs must satisfy themselves of minimum operational standards and ensure that maintenance is provided for the 22

lifetime of the development using planning conditions or other obligations such as Section 106 agreements. SuDS designs must also be ‘economically proportionate’ in terms of operation and maintenance.

New Government guidance, in the form of ‘Non-statutory Technical Standards for SuDS’, was published in March, albeit with a minimal level of information. It is still unclear whether Defra’s far more extensive, final (June 2014) ‘Draft National Standards for SuDS’ and its related guidance will be formalised, or other information added to the NPPF Planning Practice Guidance in the near future.

However, guidance for LPAs, developers and designers, on various aspects of SuDS is already available from a number of sources, including ‘The SuDS Manual’, due to be republished this summer, and the 2013 Code of Practice BS8582. The Code seeks to integrate SuDS with urban design in delivering amenity and community value as well as enhancing landscape and townscape character, and stresses the importance of linking surface water management and development planning.

Stormwater & SuDS

Similarly, the June 2014 Draft National Standards Guidance stipulates that SuDS: “must consider requirements for urban design that may be specified by the Local Planning Authority, particularly in relation to landscape, visual impacts, aesthetics, biodiversity and amenity”. It also recommends that SuDS: “should aim to manage surface water within sub-catchments, close to source and at or near surface as reasonably practicable” – something that concrete block permeable paving is well-suited to as a source control feature. It is expected that LPAs will now be preparing local-level policies and guidelines, such as ‘Supplementary Planning Documents’, and the Government policy anticipates that stakeholders will be providing more detailed SuDS guidance. Interpave will continue to update its guidelines on all aspects of concrete block permeable paving – a key SuDS technique – available via www.paving.org.uk.


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Stormwater & SuDS

THE QUEST for best-practice engineering and technologies to mitigate urban flooding has never been more pressing. Many of the UK’s drainage and sewerage networks are struggling to cope with over-capacity, as a result of population growth, increased impermeable areas and unprecedented flood events. Above ground, better surface water techniques, including SuDS, have the potential to prevent much more rainfall from entering the drainage system. Below ground, optimising flow and flood storage within the drainage sewer network could reap significant rewards for water companies to make the most of available capacity.

Surface Water Storage with Vortex Power

Nature’s perfect curve

Harnessing vortex power to throttle back water and carefully control its release was first pioneered more than 30 years ago. It remains a technology with much potential. Next-generation Hydro-Brake® Flow Control technology is enabling engineers to achieve new levels of design performance.

Since its launch in 2012, Hydro-Brake Optimum® has set new standards. Independently certified by the BBA and WRc, it is the only vortex flow control whose physical geometry can be precision-engineered to fine-tune the allimportant hydraulic design curve. Hydro-Brake Optimum® dispenses with the need to choose from a range of sizes and types and instead offers built-in flexibility to size each unit for absolute fit. It perfectly balances flow rates and surface water storage requirements to suit each drainage project without approximation.

Ensuring the smallest possible amount of surface water storage is critical to effective flow control design, because creating storage is expensive. Building stormwater storage costs time and money and Hydro-Brake Optimum® can help deliver SuDS schemes that might not otherwise be possible. Strategic positioning of vortex flow controls also optimises flow and storage within the sewer network, as an alternative to extending the network or building more storage.

Hydro-Brake Optimum® There is no equivalent Inspired by Nature and engineered with a perfect curve. There is no equivalent to Hydro-Brake Optimum® when it comes to achieving the best possible hydraulic performance. Call: 01275 337937 Try the Design Tool at: www.hydrobrakeoptimum.com

A free Hydro-Brake Optimum® Design Tool provides integrated online support for engineers to size their drainage designs and validate and output detailed design drawings. The tool is available on the Hydro International website www.hydrobrakeoptimum.com .

For more information about the Hydro-Brake Optimum® call the Hydro-Brake® Hotline on 01275 337937, email enquiries@hydro-int.com or visit http://www.hydro-int.com/uk/products/hydrobrake-optimum.

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What Makes SuDS Best Practice?

By Alex Stephenson, Group Market Development Director, Hydro International and chair of the British Water Sustainable Water Management Group.


www.managingwater.co.uk

Stormwater & SuDS

Regulating the use of Sustainable Drainage

Systems (SuDS) in new development has long been a hard fought-for aspiration of our industry. Finally, new rules are in force - but will they help to guide good design, construction and maintenance of SuDS? Planning authorities are now responsible for overseeing an ‘expectation’ for SuDS to be built on new developments of 10 properties or more. Approval of SuDS designs will now be streamlined as part the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), rather than having a separate approval route via Lead Local Flood Authorities, as was originally set out in the Flood and Water Management Act in 2010.

It could be argued that Defra and DCLG in bringing in the new regulations drew a line under years of industry debate. The change should usher in a more sensible, “back to basics” approach for SuDS with principles that have been well established for many years.

The Government’s revised plans leave local authorities, developers, contractors and water companies concerned to understand the implications and what will constitute good practice in SuDS installation, adoption and maintenance. There will also be a requirement for developers to demonstrate how SuDS components will be effectively maintained throughout their life, avoiding the potential for schemes to be left neglected or rendered ineffective through lack of regular care and inspection.

What Impact will the New Regulations Have?

Overall, the new rules could leave the design and construction of SuDS more open to interpretation and more subject to local priorities. On the other hand, what might become a “postcode lottery” could also result in flood risk and water quality protection best suited to the local conditions. Remember, too, that the rules only apply to England; different regulations apply in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In Scotland, for example, there has historically been a much greater emphasis on achieving water quality objectives.

The new regulations for England only apply to new development, of course. To truly achieve comprehensive management of surface water quality and flood risk is going to require a concerted focus on retrofitting SuDS, but the drivers for retrofit SuDS are much less clear and far more complex.

The good news is that the technical and philosophical arguments for using SuDS have largely been won. So, the real question is not whether to incorporate SuDS, but what kind of SuDS to insist on.

Hydro-brakes come in all shapes and sizes

What Makes a Good SuDS Scheme?

There is a growing acceptance that SuDS are not merely a pastoral vision of ‘natural’, green, above-ground features. Instead, they represent a best practice engineering and management approach, using a full “toolbox” of components to achieve sustainable principles.

A good surface water management train can either use ‘natural’ or manufactured components taking into account the space available for storage, the ground conditions, the level of pollutants present, the level of infiltration that is possible and so on. Often a combination of aboveground landscaped features and manufactured devices come together to achieve the best results. Temporary flood storage may be achieved with aboveground features such as retention ponds or by using underground geosynthetic modular systems. Designers may need to consider the most efficient way to minimise storage volumes to save land use e.g. by use of optimising vortex flow controls. Recent developments of the Hydro-Brake Optimum®, for example, have achieved 15% additional stormwater storage savings compared to conventional vortex flow controls.

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Stormwater & SuDS

At the same time, a good SuDS management train should also remove pollutants by filtering or separating out silt/sediment, litter and hydrocarbons from surface water prior to discharge into the watercourse. Removal can be achieved through natural features such as filter strips or swales, as well as by manufactured devices such as hydrodynamic vortex separators.

Often a combination of above-ground landscaped features and manufactured devices come together to achieve the best results. Increasingly the focus will be on demonstrating how the system can remain effective and continue to perform as designed through appropriate ownership and maintenance.

Who is Most Likely to Build SuDS?

Although much recent attention has been on developers and housebuilders, SuDS are also regularly built by highways authorities and by water companies, who can build, own and maintain SuDS to prevent flooding and over-capacity of their sewer networks.

Indeed, water companies are a key stakeholder in surface water control and treatment, as the sewer network may be the last line of defence for poorlydesigned or maintained SuDS features. Water companies also arguably have a pivotal future role to play in SuDS retrofitting to enhance our urban environments.

What Design Guidance Is Available for SuDS?

The need for everyone involved to share and learn from best practice is fundamental to future acceptance and

successful delivery of sustainable drainage systems. Many local authorities, and some water companies, have developed their own design guidance which provide excellent sources of reference. CIRIA’s expected update to C697, the SuDS manual will be more important than ever in providing a national framework for best practice.

Industry resources such as the Engineering Nature’s Way and Susdrain websites provide a good source of reference, industry news and comment, as well as policy updates and links to resources such as design guidance and online design tools.

Useful sources of SuDS Information, Guidance and SuDS best practice case studies: Engineering Nature’s Way: www.engineeringnaturesway.co.uk – Hydro International’s knowledge-sharing resource for SuDS.

www.susdrain.org: a community with a range of resources for those involved in delivery of SuDS, created by CIRIA.

Top Five Tips for SuDS Best Practice

1. Start early: SuDS plans should be incorporated right from the start of a project, preferably during masterplanning and guided by the Local Plan. Close working relationships are needed from the start between landscape architects, drainage designers, developers, Lead Local Flood Authorities (LLFAs), water companies and the Environment Agency. 2. Engage the community: Getting local people passionate and involved in sustainable surface water management has been shown to be highly effective in achieving successful schemes.

3. Use the full SuDS toolbox: Create a surface water management train using the most appropriate ‘natural’ and manufactured components taking into account the space available for storage, the ground conditions, the level of pollutants present, the level of infiltration that is possible and so on.

4. Plan predictable and repeatable maintenance. The new planning rules for England place a much greater responsibility on developers to show how SuDS schemes will be maintained effectively throughout their life. Ensuring that SuDS continue to perform requires skilled ground maintenance, as well as following manufacturers’ schedules for inspection and maintenance of proprietary systems.

5. Insist on Quality Contractors: Construction of a SuDS infrastructure can require a different skillset for contractors from conventional drainage approaches. Especially for natural SuDS features, incorrect construction can mean the drainage does not perform as designed from the outset. 26

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Stormwater & SuDS

Water Pollution Management Service Launched A SPECIALIST service has been launched by Hydro International to help industrial and commercial sites avoid the devastating environmental and financial consequences of inadequate pollution spill containment.

Buncefield fire is provided courtesy of Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue ServiceEnvironmental pollution through firefighting water is often an unforeseen issue, while spills of pollutants carried in surface water can also lead to containment failures. In response, Hydro Consultancy, the professional services division of Hydro International, has developed Water Pollution Management, (WPM). WPM is a whole-life service that combines risk assessment, hydraulic modelling, project implementation and ongoing regulatory compliance to achieve peace of mind for sites where potentially polluting substances are present. To lead the WPM team, Hydro Consultancy has recruited David Cole one of the UK’s best-known experts in pollution containment techniques and technologies, together with Barry Westwood, a skilled contracts manager with extensive experience in delivering environmental protection on controlled sites.

“Many companies may be seriously underestimating the risk of a pollution spill from firefighting water or polluted surface water discharging from their site,” says David Cole. “Catastrophes such as the Buncefield fire in 2005 clearly show the consequences of not being protected – and that’s not just because of the devastating impact on the environment.

“Companies could incur huge financial losses through punitive fines and as well as paying to put right the damage caused, in the worst case an unforeseen pollution incident could cripple a company through criminal or civil prosecutions and unaffordable costs.

“Operators often find their insurance is inadequate to cover the risks, or they may be paying unnecessarily high

premiums because they are not able to provide evidence that they have fully mitigated their environmental liabilities.”

Hydro Consultancy has built on the lessons learned from major UK spill pollution incidents – and the near misses. Hydro’s unique service begins with a full survey of the site drainage and topography, from which an integrated hydraulic model is produced. The hydraulic model is used to analyse each site’s current level of protection and then Hydro’s recommended pollution containment system is modelled for a range of events including extreme rainfall and firefighting water. The experienced Hydro Consultancy project team will then implement the recommended scheme. When activated, it will provide a rapid “lock-down” of the potential pollution pathways in the designated area. The spill will then be managed and drained according to a predetermined emergency response.

Once operational, Hydro Consultancy can also deliver a whole-life protection service programme which will support the necessary annual Environmental Audit conformance as well as site training, maintenance and inspection services David Cole adds: “Proper consideration of how surface water is discharging to the environment, should be on the agenda of any company that is keen to act sustainably. Inadequate pollution spill protection is a threat to a company’s brand equity, as well as its Corporate and Social Responsibility. Careful and sustainable use of water resources, especially ground water, is of growing concern to industry, especially where water is used in production processes.” For more information, please contact David Cole on 01275 878371 or email dcole@hydro-consultancy.com.

image courtesy of Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service

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River & Wetland Management


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River & Wetland

The New Channel Management Handbook

A new handbook promoting good practice channel management has been developed by a team led by Royal HaskoningDHV. Written for flood risk management authorities, the handbook brings together over 10 years’ worth of research and practice in channel management with the aim of improving the process of deciding when and how to carry out channel management for flood risk and land drainage purposes.

The scope of the handbook

The handbook presents the good principles of management and the underpinning scientific concepts so channel managers can make informed decisions.It develops an effective process to ensure good channel management based round a framework for adaptive channel management.

Why does channel management matter?

Ensuring a channel is able to convey flow during a flood is often an important element in the management of flood risk in an area. This ability to convey flood flow is influenced by a variety of factors such as sediment, vegetation and debris. The objective of land drainage is to allow the free flow of water through the soil to the depth of the root of a typical crop. Water levels in the channel must be managed to a level below the field drain outfall level. The ability to drain surrounding land may be restricted if connecting channels are constricted or blocked.

However, flood risk management and land drainage are only two of a number of the valuable functions provided by channels. Good channel management can also support a broad range of ecosystem functions and services including fisheries, navigation and amenity, habitats, biodiversity, landscape and water quality. The handbook defines good channel management as ‘a course of action that achieves the requirement to manage flood risks and/or land drainage, and the requirement to promote the natural form and environment of the channel’.

Who is it for?

The handbook’s main aim is to advise on how to manage a channel for land drainage and flood risk benefits. The handbook is therefore written and structured with flood risk management authorities in mind. Land owners adjacent to watercourses with an interest in channel management will also find the handbook useful.

The Adaptive Channel Management Framework

It does not tell you which management technique to implement within a channel. It is expected that, by following the processes presented in the handbook, you will be able to make informed and appropriate decisions on channel management.

The term ‘channel’ is used to define the part of a watercourse system which includes the bed and banks of both natural and artificial watercourses. It does not discuss estuaries or those channels affected by tidal regimes, though much of the handbook is relevant to such situations.

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It recognises that channel management encompasses routine maintenance that takes place within a bigger programme of channel management and on/off, reactive and periodic maintenance. It also presents good practice examples of rehabilitation, restoration and modification works to a channel.

The handbook and supporting products

An interactive checklist tool has been developed to be used in conjunction with the handbook. The checklist takes you through a logical decision process, linking to the appropriate sections of the handbook for guidance at each stage. The checklist also acts as a template for recording your decisions and the supporting evidence you’ve considered. The checklist makes reference back to the specific handbook sections for further information. The handbook is supported by a technical report which details

possible management techniques and discusses their applicability to different river typologies.

River & Wetland Management

How will the handbook help?

The purpose of the handbook is to help guide users. It will help to:

• balance channel performance with the need to promote natural form and environment (that is, consistent with good channel management) • select an appropriate approach to managing a channel, including whether intervention or review of current maintenance practice is necessary

• develop an evidence base to support the decision to carry out or cease channel maintenance • understand the legislative framework governing channel management • understand the potential implications of various

management techniques (for example, through case study examples).

The handbook also signposts you to sources of supporting good practice and further information.

How the Environment Agency will be using this research

Following publication of this handbook the Environment Agency will be working closely with its area teams to review how the handbook is being used in practice. CLICK HERE to view the handbook This project was commissioned by the Environment Agency’s Evidence Directorate, as part of the joint Environment Agency/Defra Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Research and Development Programme.

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River & Wetland Management

Clever engineering to restore wildlife and improve water quality Pioneering work in South Yorkshire is aiming to reinvigorate wildlife in a section of the River Dearne catchment by using clever engineering to transform the water’s flow.

The innovative scheme will transform a stagnant, straight section of the stream that passes through Rabbit Ings Nature Reserve into a faster moving S-shaped channel. It is hoped that introducing this movement will clear away sediment and make the water cleaner for local wildlife. The project is thought to be one of the first in the country to investigate whether restoring river habitat directly impacts water quality and the results will be reported in 2017.

The project group, headed up by Yorkshire Water, includes members from the Environment Agency, Dearne Valley Greenheart Nature Improvement Area, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, RSPB and Rivers Trust, in addition to landowners The Land Trust and Barnsley Council and managing agents Groundwork in South Yorkshire.

If the project is successful, it could revolutionise the way the water industry approaches meeting river water quality standards close to waste water treatment works.

An expert delivery partnership of Willowbank Services, Peter Brett Associates and Hull International Fisheries Institute will be carrying out the work, which involves a new meandering route for the stream to increase the flow and improve oxygenation. It is hoped the scheme will remove the sorts of sediment deposits that have built up and impaired local wildlife since as far back as the industrial revolution. 32

The new stream route has also been designed to take key detours to ensure it doesn’t damage the existing water vole population or any of the local inhabitants.

Once finished, it is hoped the restoration will create a visible increase in indicators of good water quality, such as plants and invertebrates, as well as encouraging Yorkshire freshwater species such as shrimps, mayflies and brown trout to return. Yorkshire Water is collecting four years’ worth of data, both before and after the scheme, in a bid to assess its impact. Yorkshire Water Project Manager Sarah Gledhill said:

“Looking after the environment is important to us and we are keen to understand if habitat restoration can help streams like Sandybridge dyke recover from their industrial heritage to be more resilient in the future.

“This project could help shape the way in which we invest in the region in future and even revolutionise how we attempt to improve water quality.”

The habitat restoration is being trialled at the dyke largely due to its history. The stream runs through land formerly used to store waste from the nearby coal mine and a closed municipal landfill site. The stream is mostly man made, in poor condition and the perfect case study for the research. Mick Birkinshaw, Rabbit Ings Country Park Ranger, said:

“Since Rabbit Ings Country Park opened three years ago, the wildlife diversity has continually increased and this latest scheme will benefit the habitat even further. This exciting new project is another step forward that will

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River & Wetland Management

extend and improve existing wetland habitats where we have water vole, water shrew, kingfisher and harvest mouse. This in turn will make it a more attractive site for visitors and our schools education programme.”

other mammals that live within waterside habitats. As the project moves into its delivery phase we shall continue to advise the contractors working on site and look forward to seeing how this improved and extended habitat benefits the wildlife here."

Ian Kendall, Estates Manager of The Land Trust said:

Anthony Downing, Environment Officer for Don and Rother Water and Land Team, said:

“At Rabbit Ings The Land Trust and our managing partner Groundwork in South Yorkshire are dedicated to providing a place where people can enjoy a wide variety of our native wildlife. Therefore we are delighted to be involved in this ground breaking project and are very grateful for the massive investment that Yorkshire Water are making to improve such an important habitat.”

"The design of this particular scheme works with natural processes to both address water quality problems and create greater diversity of river habitat which will be of benefit to plant and animal species.

“We have been delighted to be part of this project, which not only has provided a good model for partnership working and water quality improvements, but hopefully it will also provide a sound evidence base to support future projects addressing water quality problems around water company discharges."

Project Manager Pete Wall said:

“Rabbit Ings falls into the boundary of the Dearne Valley Green Heart Nature Improvement Area, one of only twelve in the country designated by DEFRA in 2012. We are delighted to be a part of the project, helping Yorkshire Water to improve the local environment for wildlife, creating a better place for people to live and work.”

Barnsley Council’s Biodiversity Officer, Trevor Mayne, said this was a significant step forward for the catchment:

Dearne Valley NIA Riparian Advisor Ailsa Henderson said:

“For decades the whole Cudworth Dyke system, of which this stream is a part, has suffered from a multitude of abuses. We are delighted to be involved in this project which should improve things for our native wildlife and habitats.”

"Yorkshire Wildlife Trust staff have been providing expert guidance throughout the project’s development, particularly regarding water voles which is Britain's fastest declining wild mammal along with

New river restoration qualification developed in Wales

The rivers of Wales are some of the country’s most valuable natural assets and Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and its partners play an important role in their restoration and maintenance.

Natural Resources Wales has been working with Agored Cymru, the Welsh education and training awarding body to develop a brand new River Restoration Qualification which will benefit volunteers and Welsh rivers. As part of a pilot NRW and Cambium Training have been supporting and training Groundwork Caerphilly, the South East Wales Rivers Trust and the Wildlife Trust of South West Wales to try out the new units. Sue Williams, NRW Education, Learning & Sector Skills team Leader said:

“This qualification focusses on the skills needed for someone being introduced to river restoration either professionally or as a volunteer.

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“It can be used by organisations to train their volunteers in river restoration work, share good practice, develop a consistent approach to river restoration and the volunteers get useful accreditation which they can use in their future career or just for fun.”

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Cotswold Canals Trust

36 Miles of canal, 56 Locks and 240 Years of History

The Cotswold Canals are the two connected Gloucestershire waterways, the Stroudwater Navigation and the Thames & Severn Canal.

River & Wetland Management

Ham Mill Lock Restoration

Ham Mill Lock near Thrupp in Stroud is the third lock in the Bowbridge; Griffin & Ham Mill section of the Phase 1a restoration. The lock was built almost 230 years ago to raise the canal level by 9 feet and fell into disrepair with this section being officially abandoned in 1933.

The thirty six mile long waterway links England’s two great rivers, The Severn and Thames. The Stroudwater Navigation meets the Thames & Severn Canal at Wallbridge in Stroud.

The Trust was formed in 1972 and since then has reinstated 5 miles of canal and rebuilt 7 locks and 8 bridges.

The restoration of the Cotswold Canals is being carried out in three phases. Phase one (split into A and B) runs from the River Severn to Stroud (the Stroudwater Navigation). Phase 3 (Thames and Severn Canal) runs from Stroud to Waymoorway Lock and inludes the 3817 yard Saperton Tunnel. Phase 2 (Cotswold Water Paark) then continues on to the River Thames.

Ham Mill Lock is situated within the Thames and Severn West section of the canal and is just one of the locks being refurbished by the trust.

A team of volunteers

Interesting finds

The restoration of Ham Mill Lock is being carried out by Cotswold Canals Trust volunteers from the Trust's Western Depot at Eastington and work started in 2014. The first step was the creation of a diversion channel, around the lock, allowing the water to be pumped out and 300 tonnes of silt removed.

Two stolen safes were dicovered burried in the mud at the bottom of the lock, both of which were taken away by the Police. One contained paperwork whilst the other contained boxes of ammunition which required the attendance of the Police Firearms Unit. 650 rounds of .22 calibre ammunition was safely

The remains of the lower lock gates were removed and despite the years some of the timber was still in remarkably good condition.

A George III penny and an 1854 Napoleon III five centime coin were recovered from the silt.

Phone: +44 (0)1453 752 568 Fax: +44 (0)1453 753 964 Email: mail@cotswoldcanals.com

Cotswold Canals Trust Bell House Wallbridge Lock Stroud Gloucestershire GL5 3JS 34

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River & Wetland Management

The CCT Ham Mill Lock Restoration Team Volunteers

Restoration works

The next task was to jet wash the chamber to expose the stone built invert (floor) of the lock before covered scaffolding was erected allowing brickwork repairs to be carried out right through the winter. At the same time maintenance was carried out on the Ham Mill bridge. Following the repairs it was neccesary to ensure the integrity of the upstream lock wing walls.

Pipes were installed to take the excess water from the pound safely down into the rushing waters of the River Frome. The pound was thereby lowered to enable the installation of

an AquaDam (a temporary waterfilled coffer dam) to hold back the waters of the pound between Ham Mill and Hope Mill Lock.

The AquaDam is a 66ft feet long high tensile geotextile structure that has been dragged across the canal and pumped full of 800 tonnes of canal water. It was a joint enterprise purchase between Stroud District Council, Cotswold Canals Trust and Stroud Valleys Canal Company. Five members of the CCT Ham Mill team have undergone training on its installation and safe use. The structure is 4.8 metres wide and 2.4 metres high. It can safely hold back a water depth of up to 1.8

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metres and two 3 inch diameter pumps worked for two hours to fill the Aquadam.

The trained personnel are required to inspect the Aquadam at the beginning of each working day to ensure that it is fully inflated and stable before any work can commence in the de-watered area. When work has finished at Ham Mill Lock, the Aquadam will be removed and used on other parts of the canal restoration.

The works on this project are due to be completed around November this year.

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River & Wetland Management

£15m Moorland restoration will reduce flood risk Environmental Stewardship agreements will see vast expanses of Peak District and South Pennines peatlands restored. Individual moorland business owners have signed up to 30 large Environmental Stewardship (ES) agreements which will see vast expanses of Peak District and South Pennines peatlands, home to extensive tracts of semi-natural moorland with upland heath and peat bog, birds of prey and wading birds, restored.

The ES agreements will bring about £15 million of moorland restoration measures over the coming 3-5 years. They will allow for changes to management on 39,000 hectares of moorland, such as less heather burning and a return to traditional shepherding to help improve the moorland environment. Running through to 2024, the agreements will bring great benefits to water quality, wildlife, recreation and business through these restoration measures. Funding from the scheme will be of great importance in bringing upland Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) into better condition.

How it works

Restoration management such as gully blocking, heather brash spreading and re-introduction of a wonderful moss called ‘Sphagnum’ will provide the following benefits:

• increased water retention on the SSSIs to sustain peat bogs and their special plant life and birds • good conditions for grazing animals and grouse • reduced peat erosion into reservoirs • improved paths for recreation and reduction in disturbance to wildlife habitats • slower run-off into rivers after downpours, reducing flood-risks • more carbon retention in peat, which helps mitigate climate change

collaborate with a specialist moorland conservation organisation such as the not-for-profit Moors for the Future Partnership. Natural England’s Chairman Andrew Sells said:

“The end-result will be amazing - the peatlands will become active again providing long-lasting prosperity for the environment and businesses. There will be improvements for people and wildlife, cleaner water for surrounding cities, reduced flood risk, better public recreation and increased global carbon storage. What a fantastic way to work with rural businesses to undertake necessary regeneration and to harness benefits from the moorlands, whilst also enhancing the rural economy.”

The scheme is also supported by the Moorland Association, which represents many owners. Peak District representative Simon Gurney welcomed the ambitious large-scale

Sphagnum delivery

Agreement holders can choose to organise the work themselves or 36

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restoration plans, explaining the extensive experience and knowledge of land managers would be invaluable to the project’s long-term goals and success. He added: “By working collaboratively, changes and improvements can take place while safeguarding the land use which is essential to the economy of our internationally recognised moors.”

More about the Private Lands Project

Many new agreement holders are joining Moors for the Future’s Private Lands Project to deliver restoration.

As more individuals join the project, a patchwork of special sites across neighbouring areas of private land come together to create large ‘landscape scale’ improvement for people and wildlife. Matt Scott-Campbell, the Private Lands Project Manager said:

“Moors for the Future is pleased to be working with five private land managers across the Dark Peak at Saddleworth, Crowden, Moscar, Peaknaze and Stalybridge.” “We look forward to more opportunities to work with private businesses to help achieve conservation on their land and to contribute to the landscape scale effort funded by Environmental Stewardship.”


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River & Wetland Management

Loddon Rivers Week

A flowing success Photographs courtesy of John Sutton Clearwater Photography Placing flow deflector onto bed of R.Blackwater to help clean gravel for fish to spawn.

The River Loddon was given another week of environmental enhancement and conservation as part of the ‘Loddon Rivers Week’ partnership project. The initiative is led by the Environment Agency in partnership with the Wild Trout Trust, Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership, Loddon Valley Residents Association, Loddon Fisheries and Conservation Consultative and the Wildlife Trust.

The week kicked off last Monday, 16 March, with electrofishing at Whitewater Mill, Bassett’s Mead, Potbridge and North Warnborough where trout, perch, chub, minnow and bullhead were caught.

Electrofishing uses electricity to stun fish so they can be easily caught, it is a common scientific survey method used to sample fish populations and collect valuable data. The process does not harm the fish, which return to their natural state in as little as two minutes after being stunned. The week progressed with volunteers from the local community, conservation and flood groups working together over two days, to improve the river’s habitats and enhancing the Loddon’s natural processes using low

cost and simple techniques; demonstrated by Environment Agency fisheries officers and the Wild Trout Trust. Karen Twine, Fisheries Officer for the Environment Agency said:

Our volunteers really got stuck in by making fagotts, cleaning gravels, adding new gravels, introducing and securing woody debris in the Blackwater. These techniques will help fish and invertebrate communities, offering refuge from high flows and predators as well as improve spawning and nursery habitat.

Brash faggots – which consist of bundles of branches or coppice - were made up and staked in to support the reprofiled river bank. This technique will help to increase the capacity of the channel, without compromising the natural processes occurring within the river. It will also enhance riparian habitat for other wildlife including birds, butterflies, dragonflies and bees.

On Friday, a workshop was set up by the Loddon Valley Residents Association and Loddon Fisheries and Conservation Consultative, which gave the local communities, land owners and Councils the chance to visualise (with the help of an EmRiver model, which simulates river processes) how flood risk can be managed using natural processes such as floodplain connectivity, flood water storage and retention, which can also help to regulate erosion and deposition. Karen Twine added:

Team taking a break during habitat improvement works in R.Blackwater.

It’s been fantastic to see so many volunteers and interest groups coming together to improve this much loved river. It is essential to get the message across that managing flood risk can be achieved without compromising our beautiful rivers. The Loddon catchment is environmentally rich and an important resource for wildlife which needs protecting and enhancing for future generations.

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River & Wetland Management

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Winning the war on destructive invasive fish The Environment Agency has moved one step closer to winning its war against a destructive invasive fish which has been wreaking havoc in the country’s lakes and ponds. Topmouth gudgeon outcompete native fish for food and habitat, and spread disease.

At their peak, a decade ago, Topmouth gudgeon had been found widely spread across the UK at 23 locations. But as a result of the latest operation, and through the Environment Agency’s targeted removal, there are now just three remaining sites in England. This is not the first time that the Environment Agency has led the complete removal of an invasive species. The fathead minnow was eliminated in 2008 followed by the black bullhead catfish last year.

Smaller than an average thumb, what Topmouth gudgeon (pseudorasbora parva) lack in size they make up for with quantity. They breed up to four times a year and as a result can form vast populations. Their sheer numbers mean that they impact native fish by outcompeting them for food and habitat. This in turn means fewer invertebrates available to other fish and wildlife and upsets the natural balance of a lake or pond. Topmouth gudgeon also eat the eggs of other fish and carry a parasite.

Native to Asia, it is thought that they were introduced to Britain in the 1980s from mainland Europe and potentially spread through fish farm movements and the ornamental fish trade.

Today expert fisheries officers, kitted out in specialist protective gear, were on-site for this latest operation at three ponds in Hackney, north London.

While Britain’s rivers are the healthiest for more than 20 years, rivers and ponds that harbour nonnative species can have their water 38

Invasive species cost the UK economy an estimated £1.7billion every year.

Non-native species - such as topmouth gudgeon - can not only crowd out and kill off native wildlife, they can damage riverbanks, buildings and flood defences and become so prolific on waterways that fishermen, boaters and anglers are unable to use them.

The Environment Agency spends around £2million a year controlling invasive species and is helping more rivers meet new EU targets towards tackling these invaders.

quality and ecology affected and could fall short of tough EU targets. It is not certain how the Topmouth gudgeon first found their way to the ponds in Hackney but experts believe it is likely that they were dumped illegally. The Environment Agency is urging people who own fish that the apparently harmless action of releasing unwanted fish into a local pond can have disastrous long-term effects on the environment and other animals within it.

To ensure the continued success of this work, the Environment Agency is asking members of the public to report any sightings of Topmouth gudgeon, or other invasive fish species to its incident hotline on 03708 506506, or email: nonnatives@environment-agency.gov.uk or via the AquaInvaders app downloadable below.

Sarah Chare, head of fisheries at the Environment Agency, said:

Invasive species pose a serious threat to our native wildlife and cost the UK economy a massive £1.8bn a year. Topmouth gudgeon are on our hit list of the UK’s most damaging invasive species and despite only being tiny have devastating effects on fisheries and angling. www.fadsdirectory.com

Click to download or the AquaInvaders app


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