Surface water flooding

Status:Final report complete.   Published:

A study on effective approaches to the management of surface water flooding in England.

Summary

In October 2021, the government asked the Commission to conduct an assessment of how responsible bodies in England can better manage and mitigate surface water flooding.

The final report – Reducing the risk of surface water flooding – was published on 29 November 2022.

The work of the study included:

  • analysis of the current risks of surface water flooding (including sewage overflows) and the opportunities that exist to address these in the short and long term
  • recommendations concerning improvements needed to England’s drainage systems to manage and prevent surface water flooding in both urban and rural economies, including through nature-based solutions alongside hard engineering
  • consideration of the optimum cost-benefit analysis of infrastructure options and how these can be combined to provide greater resilience and value for money.

This now-completed study covered England only, as flooding and water management is a devolved function.

The Commission liaised with flood risk management authorities to carry out the study, and consulted infrastructure providers, engineering sector and environmental NGOs to maximise the breadth of understanding and opportunities.

The Call for Evidence to support the scoping and research phase of the project closed on 20 December 2021.

Latest Updates

Coming up in 2024
Thumbtack pins in calendar concept for busy, appointment and meeting reminder

Coming up in 2024

This page shows a calendar reflecting the latest expected dates for Commission reports, publications and events. You can also sign up to receive our quarterly newsletter by entering your email address in the box at the foot of each website page.

1 Feb 2024 By
Commission welcomes move to more sustainable drainage for new developments
New housing estate on the outskirts of a rural Dorset town. View from the sustainable urban drainage

Commission welcomes move to more sustainable drainage for new developments

The government has today (10 January 2023) announced its intention to implement Schedule 3 of the Flood and Water Management Act in England (subject to consultation). This shift in policy will make sustainable drainage solutions the default for almost all new developments in England, and make the right to connect surface water runoff to public...

10 Jan 2023 By
600,000 properties face future flooding without action to reduce urban runoff and improve drainage systems
A flooded supermarket carpark in Belvedere, Kent

600,000 properties face future flooding without action to reduce urban runoff and improve drainage systems

Stricter controls on new property developments alongside up to £12bn of investment in drainage infrastructure over the next thirty years will be necessary to stop thousands more homes and businesses from flooding due to inadequate drainage, according to a new report by the National Infrastructure Commission. Localised floods across England last month alongside a series...

29 Nov 2022 By
Reducing the risk of surface water flooding
Car driving through a large puddle, splashing rainwater

Reducing the risk of surface water flooding

The final report of the study on surface water flooding concludes that stricter controls on new property developments alongside up to £12bn of investment in drainage infrastructure over the next thirty years will be necessary to stop thousands more homes and businesses from flooding due to inadequate drainage

29 Nov 2022
Surface Water Flooding Study: Call for Evidence
Picture showing a car stuck in floodwater under a bridge

Surface Water Flooding Study: Call for Evidence

15 Nov 2021

Evidence_Icon_Turquoise Created with Sketch.

Explore data used in the Commission's research, and gain insights from across UK infrastructure

Join our team of professionals supporting the Commission to provide evidence based and forward thinking advice on infrastructure strategy.