As the clocks went back a few weekends ago, now is officially the start of winter, meaning colder, darker and wetter evenings are to be expected for the whole of the UK.
Even in the last month of October, we saw the Met Office issue several weather warnings across the UK, with more rain seen in areas of Scotland and Northumberland than ever before. And that’s just the start of it. This week, the MetOffice issued a warning ahead of Storm Debi, with weather warnings extended as 130kph winds are set to hit UK. It comes after Storms Babet and Ciarán both wreaked havoc across the country over the past couple of months.
In the UK alone, there are 3,500 measuring stations based along main rivers and coastal areas in order for the met office and the UK government to guide the public as safely as possible. The Met Office and Environmental Agency have reported that flooding is to be expected in more coastal areas, but those in the midlands and central parts of the UK should still consider what is to come this winter with heavy rains more common than ever before.
According to the Met Office, the most recent decade (2009-2018) has been on average 1% wetter than 1981-2010 and 5% wetter than 1961-1990 for the UK overall – and the amount of rain from extremely wet days has increased by 17% when looking at the same periods. The Met Office forecasts that intense rainfall associated with severe flash flooding could become almost five times more likely by the end of this century.
This is where pumping equipment will become a necessity across the UK, especially with an estimated 1.8 million people living in areas of the UK that are at significant risk or used to of coastal, surface or river flooding. Along the English Channel coast, the sea level has already risen by about 12cm in the last 100 years, with this number expected to DOUBLE in the next 8-10 years. This equates to 23-27cm of total sea level rise since 1900.
Flooding already poses a risk to vital infrastructure in the UK such as roads, fresh water supplies, sewage treatment plants, hospitals, schools and energy supplies, and the risk is projected to rise, alongside costs. This is where we come in.
At Pump Supplies, we have worked alongside the Environment Agency and its contractors to supply much of the UK with flooding solutions in order to keep people and their homes/businesses safe. We have supplied many of the pumps and pumping equipment used to clear up the recent flood water in both the 2014 South West England floods on the Somerset levels and in the 2015/16 floods in Cumbria.
We provide all the pumps, pipework and equipment required backed up with teams of installation engineers enabling efficient and effective water removal to keep the public protected from flooding and alleviation. Working with Lakeside Flood Solutions, we can provide a wide range of flood protection solutions including bespoke flood barrier protection, available at immediate notice once notified.
The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) 2012 progress report already called for a national, long-term, outcomes-based adaptation strategy to address the increasing flood risk to be developed, with a further assessment released in 2020 sent to the UK government shaping future policy on the experiences of the past, given the threat of further extreme weather and sea level rises.
It said: ‘We have a world class track record of delivering high quality flood and coastal defences. However, we cannot afford to continue to build our way out of future climate risks in many places.
Instead, we need to plan for the challenges we will face in the future. We need to support communities to plan better and – in some cases – adapt to future flooding and coastal change. This requires action now so that the UK’s population and economy are ready for what the future may bring.’
National standards ‘will enable all types of places to achieve an appropriate level of resilience that reduces the likelihood and/or consequences of flooding and coastal change for people, infrastructure, the economy and the environment’.
So following this advice, companies should be preparing themselves now for what’s to come with winter, especially with harsher conditions expected more than ever before. The NAO argues that investing in flood defences is highly cost-effective, concluding that each £1 not invested means communities will suffer up to £8 in unnecessary flood damage.
If you have any questions surrounding our flood protection and pumping equipment services, then contact us today.