SEPA maps will help tackle flood risk in Scotland
The most comprehensive national source of data on flood hazard and risk for Scotland has been published by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). The new flood maps are an important step in increasing understanding of the sources and impacts of flooding and will be a key tool in producing Scotland's first ever coordinated plans to tackle flood risk.
Developed in partnership with local authorities and Scottish Water, the flood maps share more information on flooding than ever before with members of the public. The show different types of flooding, the likelihood of this happening and the impact of flooding when it does happen.
The new national map, which builds on the information available in the previous Indicative River and Coastal Flood Map, features areas at risk from surface water flooding and includes information on depth and velocity where available. One of the other new flood maps developed by the agency identifies areas where there is an opportunity for natural flood management, which is part of a more sustainable approach to tackling flooding in Scotland.
The maps will be used to produce Flood Risk Management Strategies (FRMS) and Local Flood Risk Management Plans (FRMP). These co-ordinated plans will look at whole river catchments and coastlines and identify what actions should be taken to manage flooding in Scotland.
This approach to FRMP, and the development of new flood maps, has been driven by the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act (FRM Act) which has encouraged more partnership working between public bodies and a greater wealth of knowledge and understanding of how flooding can be managed proactively.
James Curran, chief executive of SEPA, said: "The publication of new flood maps is a key milestone of the FRM Act, and will help us and our partners to take a more co-ordinated, sustainable and targeted approach towards reducing the impacts which flooding can have.
"It is clear that there has never been a greater need for this information as we have seen, yet again over the last month, the misery that flooding has brought to communities across the country. As many people will be all too aware, flooding is a real threat and it can have devastating effects on lives and properties. In Scotland, for many years now, we've been aware of the expected increase in flooding caused by climate change and by having more information on the types of flooding and its impacts we can make more informed decisions and target our resources in the areas where we can make a real difference."
The Scottish government minister for Environment and Climate Change, Paul Wheelhouse, said: "SEPA's new flood risk and hazard maps are an extremely useful tool in supporting flood risk strategies across Scotland as they show not only the extent of flooding under different risk scenarios, but also the potential depth and velocity of flood waters. With extreme weather events predicted to become more frequent, it is of the utmost importance that we are as prepared as possible to respond when these hit."
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