Climate change, shifts in land use, social economics – there’s a lot to consider on how best to tackle water management issues, both now and in coming years.
Interestingly, Tubosider UK has had a rush of enquiries for soakaways this year, which play an important part in any area or development where the land is porous and has a suitable water table, particularly in the South of England.
While the Environment Agency seeks better ways of avoiding the widespread flooding the UK experienced in recent months – again, not least in the South and West – the whole of Europe faces challenges of its own.
Floods are considered the major natural hazard in the EU in terms of risk to people and assets. The most recent extensive springtime flooding in Central Europe seriously affected several German states and Czech regions and caused localised problems in seven other countries in Europe.
Similar catastrophic events such as hurricane Sandy in the USA in 2012 and the flooding in Pakistan in 2010 have demonstrated that this is a global problem.
Currently, more than 40 bn € per year are spent on flood mitigation and recovery in the EU (including compensation of flood damage), and more than 75 per cent of the damage caused by floods occurs in urban areas.
Climate change and the concentration of population and assets in urban areas are set to increase these numbers in the near future.
Throughout Europe, it’s estimated that 80 per cent of the population will live in urban areas by 2020 and the economic values in these areas are constantly growing.
This means that flood risk in urban areas will increase disproportionately. Flood damage figures could rise to 100 bn € per year by the end of the century.
For us at Tubosider, this is one of the most important contributions we can make to UK infrastructure, not just applying best practice in water management but saving millions of pounds in insurance claims.