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Our focus is upon minimising flooding within the borough and improving water quality for river users and wildlife.

Find out how we will manage water in the borough:

Our objectives

We will ensure that development across Richmond addresses flood risks and promotes sustainable drainage. We will promote and encourage development to be fully resilient to the future impacts of climate change in order to minimise vulnerability of people and property, including risks of flooding, water shortages and the effects of overheating.

Our key target is to be fully prepared for flooding.

A large proportion of the borough is situated in close proximity to the River Thames and its tributaries (River Crane and Beverley Brook). A considerable proportion of the borough is at risk of flooding. The risk of flooding posed to properties arises from a number of sources including river flooding, localised runoff, sewer and groundwater flooding.

Many existing water mains, sewerage systems and treatment works are becoming overloaded. It is essential to ensure that such infrastructure is in place ahead of development to avoid unacceptable impacts on the environment such as sewage flooding of residential and commercial property, pollution of land and watercourses plus water shortages with associated low-pressure water supply problems.

What we are doing to reduce the risk of flooding

Richmond's Local Plan highlights that all developments should avoid, or minimise, contributing to all sources of flooding, including fluvial, tidal, surface water, groundwater and flooding from sewers, taking account of climate change and without increasing flood risk elsewhere.

Specific actions highlighted in the Climate Emergency Strategy around water, include:

  • Continue to promote green infrastructure to act as flood storage areas, holding large volumes of water in temporary ponds to protect built up areas from flooding
  • Continue to identify flooding threats, utilising assessment tools to identify those people most at risk of climate change related flooding
  • Work with residents and businesses to identify opportunities for reducing runoff and improving water storage capacity across the borough
  • Pilot the installation of rain gardens, reducing rainwater runoff and promoting biodiversity
  • Provide Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) to avoid rapid rain run-off into drains and rivers and improve water quality

Flood and Coastal Resilience Innovation Programme (Defra\EA)

Working in partnership with Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust and Friends of Barnes Common, we submitted a bid for funding through the Environment Agency’s Flood and Coastal Resilience Innovation Programme. Our bid focused on the Beverley Brook catchment in Richmond which covers the area from Richmond Park to north Barnes. At the end of March 2021, the Council was informed our bid was successful and Richmond is one of 25 areas across England to receive approximately £6 million of funding from Defra and the EA to deliver innovative flood resilience projects over six years.

These projects must demonstrate how practical and innovative actions can work to improve the resilience of communities to flooding. The aims of this project are to improve community resilience to flood risk and climate change, and the project partnership aims to work collaboratively and cooperatively with various stakeholders, including the Environment Agency, Thames Water, South East Rivers Trust and the Beverley Brook Catchment Partnership. The project partners will also work with and alongside local communities to create projects which work for residents and visitors, providing multiple benefits. We will achieve these aims by retrofitting Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS), introducing Natural Flood Management (NFM) schemes (such as wetlands to increase amenity and improve water quality) and Nature Based Solutions (NBS) to improve the biodiversity of the locations selected. We will use Integrated Water Management (IWM) (solutions to collaborate with stakeholders on improving community resilience to flood risk and climate change).

This project aims to deliver innovation, build resilience to flood risk and climate change working with local communities to do so. This project aims to deliver change with people, innovation, education, and evidence building at the core. The project aspires to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Disconnection of hard urban surfaces from the sewer network
  • Monitoring the impact of the project through technology and Citizen Science
  • Provide new evidence of the benefits of adopting an NBS approach to surface water management
  • Quantifying cost effectiveness analysis of NBS/IWM vs traditional surface water drainage solutions
  • SuDS retrofits in buildings, for example in schools, council properties and community buildings
  • The Vine Road Recreation Ground project including SuDS and rainwater harvesting, a community learning centre and social hub
  • Creating a model of innovative and sustainable community participation

Latest update

The project is currently under way with the initial modelling, data collection, stakeholder engagement and initial scheme identification all progressing. The Communication Strategy and Engagement Plan are in the process of development, both documents will define how and when the community and its residents are engaged and kept informed of progress. An outline business case is scheduled for submission to the Environment Agency by the end of April 2022 for their approval and further information on the project will be forthcoming in due course.

Find out more information about the Council’s Climate Emergency.

More information on Defra project selection can be found on the GOV.UK website.

You can find more information on this project with our partners below:

Updated: 26 July 2022

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