A new website, www.floodready.co.uk, has been launched to raise awareness of flood risk in the North West.
Flooding is a serious problem in the UK with 1 in 6 properties at risk of flooding. The impacts of flooding on our communities can be devastating. Floods can keep people out of their homes for at least 6 months and it can cost around £20,000 to make a home habitable again.
The website has been funded by the North West Regional Flooding and Coastal Committee and developed by Sefton Council and the Southport Eco Centre, with support from the Environment Agency.
The online resource features interactive animations, case studies from all over the North West Region and a wealth of supporting activities and resources that will enable everyone in our community to "Be Flood Ready" and become more resilient to future flooding events. The case studies not only feature flooding events, but highlight good examples of community engagement and flood risk management schemes.
Councillor Derek Antrobus, Chair of the North West Regional Flooding and Coastal Committee says, ""Our climate is changing and the North West is likely to get wetter over the next few decades. It is important that we not only invest in managing future flood risk, but also make sure that communities and future generations have the knowledge and understanding to tackle the more severe threats of the future.
"This online tool means that everyone has at their fingertips a resource to develop a good understanding of how floods happen and how we can all protect ourselves from future flooding through insightful and engaging activities."
Green infrastructure, especially trees, can help to alleviate flooding. For example, trees can help rainwater seep into the ground, reducing the amount of water that ends up in sewers. Leaves can catch rain on its journey to the ground, slowing the progress of rainwater into the drains; and roots can soak up excess rainwater and return it to the atmosphere.
Over the next fifty years, winter precipitation in The Mersey Forest is set to increase by up to 30%, putting communities in Merseyside and North Cheshire at a higher risk of flooding. There are a number of organisations working to mitigate the effects of this projected rainfall; one such initiative is The Mersey Forest's Urban Catchment Forestry project. The project aims to bring together a wide range of partners to make the business case for the strategic use of urban trees and woodlands to reduce flooding, improve water quality, and bring wider economic, social and environmental benefits.