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All These Floods....


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#1 Johnoco

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 11:34 AM

Why are politicians so keen to lay the blame for the recent upsurge in flooding on climate change? Have they not thought it might be down to poor management and lack of maintenance since privatisation of the water companies?

Its like they dont want to consider it as an option.

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#2 Saint Billinge

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 11:39 AM

Ducking and diving is a way of life for politicians! How many times do they avoid direct questions on radio or TV? It's truly embarrassing.

#3 gingerjon

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 11:43 AM

Why are politicians so keen to lay the blame for the recent upsurge in flooding on climate change? Have they not thought it might be down to poor management and lack of maintenance since privatisation of the water companies?

Its like they dont want to consider it as an option.


A thing I came across the other day was a defence of insurance companies who no longer insure for flooding. In short, say the insurers, they would offer insurance if flood defences were maintained at acceptable levels however they no longer are.
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#4 Johnoco

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 12:00 PM

I haven't heard that GJ but I have spoken to ex managers from Yorkshire Water who say it is only lip service being paid to maintenance today.

Just as an example, do you ever see them coming round and clearing stuff out of the drains these days? Used to happen regular when I was a kid.

No I don't care if you're if you're into different bands

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Pull off that cover, I will too, and learn to understand

With music deep inside we'll make world unity our plan

 

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#5 Saint Billinge

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 12:01 PM

A thing I came across the other day was a defence of insurance companies who no longer insure for flooding. In short, say the insurers, they would offer insurance if flood defences were maintained at acceptable levels however they no longer are.


Cameron did say on TV that pressure would be put on the insurance companies to offer reasonable rates for flood victims. The ABI has proposed that a special fund be set up, with the Government backing it initially with funds, although repayable in the future. It appears that the Government aren't too keen on the initial funding!

As always, nothing is straightforward when MPs are involved!

#6 WearyRhino

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 12:04 PM

I haven't heard that GJ but I have spoken to ex managers from Yorkshire Water who say it is only lip service being paid to maintenance today.

Just as an example, do you ever see them coming round and clearing stuff out of the drains these days? Used to happen regular when I was a kid.


By the accounts of the victims, the landslide in Whitby that's taken out several houses is a direct result of work Yorkshire Water carried out which screwed up the drainage.

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#7 Johnoco

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 12:12 PM

By the accounts of the victims, the landslide in Whitby that's taken out several houses is a direct result of work Yorkshire Water carried out which screwed up the drainage.

Aye. Now repeat this all over the country.....

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#8 keighley

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 12:20 PM

All your points re the lack of maintanance by the water companies are valid but you cannot discount global warming. The ice sheets on Greenland and the North Pole have shrunk immensely adding 8 inches to the sea levels since the early 1900s. Low lying areas will continue to have bigger and more frequent floods as a result. It will get worse as the ice continues to melt even more. This melt is not some crazy fantasy, it's an observable measureable fact.

#9 gingerjon

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 12:30 PM

I haven't heard that GJ but I have spoken to ex managers from Yorkshire Water who say it is only lip service being paid to maintenance today.

Just as an example, do you ever see them coming round and clearing stuff out of the drains these days? Used to happen regular when I was a kid.


This was an issue where I used to leave - significant flooding even half way up a hill caused entirely by rain running down the hill having nowhere to drain. The council cleared the drain once every two years. So for three months until grit and leaves built up again it was fine. Then another 21 months of waiting.
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#10 Johnoco

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 12:42 PM

All your points re the lack of maintanance by the water companies are valid but you cannot discount global warming. The ice sheets on Greenland and the North Pole have shrunk immensely adding 8 inches to the sea levels since the early 1900s. Low lying areas will continue to have bigger and more frequent floods as a result. It will get worse as the ice continues to melt even more. This melt is not some crazy fantasy, it's an observable measureable fact.

I'm not saying GW might not be the reason. I suspect the other reason though.

No I don't care if you're if you're into different bands

No cause for so much hatred, I'm just a different man

Pull off that cover, I will too, and learn to understand

With music deep inside we'll make world unity our plan

 

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#11 Phil

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 12:43 PM

Why are politicians so keen to lay the blame for the recent upsurge in flooding on climate change? Have they not thought it might be down to poor management and lack of maintenance since privatisation of the water companies?

Its like they dont want to consider it as an option.


profit before service, they have a responsibility to their shareholders you know!!!
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#12 Johnoco

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 12:44 PM

This was an issue where I used to leave - significant flooding even half way up a hill caused entirely by rain running down the hill having nowhere to drain. The council cleared the drain once every two years. So for three months until grit and leaves built up again it was fine. Then another 21 months of waiting.

This happens on the main road near me. One drain overflows and all those following it fill up. Either full of leaves, grit etc etc

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Pull off that cover, I will too, and learn to understand

With music deep inside we'll make world unity our plan

 

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#13 Phil

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 12:47 PM

This happens on the main road near me. One drain overflows and all those following it fill up. Either full of leaves, grit etc etc


Friend of mine used to work full time clearing the gullies running from the moors down to the becks and rivers, outdoors in all weathers but he loved it and it was an important job. come privatisation and it was "thanks goodbye"
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#14 Johnoco

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 12:52 PM

Friend of mine used to work full time clearing the gullies running from the moors down to the becks and rivers, outdoors in all weathers but he loved it and it was an important job. come privatisation and it was "thanks goodbye"

That's the sort of thing. Penny pinching by those obsessed with numbers. This thinking is becoming prevelant almost everywhere.

I can just imagine how it went.....'what does he do'.....'cleans the gullys' .....'why? we'd save X pounds if we sacked it and got someone to check it every year or two' .....'great...super'

No I don't care if you're if you're into different bands

No cause for so much hatred, I'm just a different man

Pull off that cover, I will too, and learn to understand

With music deep inside we'll make world unity our plan

 

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#15 Wolford6

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 01:30 PM

Why are politicians so keen to lay the blame for the recent upsurge in flooding on climate change? Have they not thought it might be down to poor management and lack of maintenance since privatisation of the water companies?

Its like they dont want to consider it as an option.


It's not the Water Authorities' fault. Flood Protection and Floodwall Maintenance is the responsiblity of the Environment Agency, a government body. The Tories cut this year's budget for flood defence works; after all when did the nice bits of London last flood?

Much of the problem lies with the areas that have been concreted over ... where every drop of impact water then goes to drain rather than a proportion being absorbed by the underlying soil for a much slower release.

In fairness to the EA and local councils all new building projects must have flood risk appraisal and a SUDS (sustainable urban drainage system) infrastructure that delays ready free drainage in heavy rainfall.

Edited by Wolford6, 01 December 2012 - 01:31 PM.

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#16 Johnoco

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 02:51 PM

OK then EA too. Its all penny pinching to cut costs at the expense of safety.

No I don't care if you're if you're into different bands

No cause for so much hatred, I'm just a different man

Pull off that cover, I will too, and learn to understand

With music deep inside we'll make world unity our plan

 

7 Seconds -Walk Together, Rock Together


#17 Methven Hornet

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 05:53 PM

Why are politicians so keen to lay the blame for the recent upsurge in flooding on climate change? Have they not thought it might be down to poor management and lack of maintenance since privatisation of the water companies?

Its like they dont want to consider it as an option.


One problem with blaming privatisation of water companies is that we still have a public corporation - Scottish Water - providing water services. That said, we do have a regulator that uses the water companies in England and Wales as a benchmark when deciding what SW can charge, so the same corners may be cut.

One thing mentioned by Wolford6 - the effect of concreting/paving areas - was brought home to me last week. We had torrential rain one day which resulted in a large part of the village of Comrie being flooded. In nearby Muthill, I was delivering on one hillside street. Where householders had paved or concreted their front gardens to make a drive or parking space for their cars, I noticed that the water was gushing off at great speed and in enormous quantities. Where the surface had been kept as grass or soil very little water flowed off.

There probably isn't one reason for the more regular flooding incidents we seem to be experiencing, but a combination of factors. More land has been built on/concreted over, the need for development in certain areas has meant housing being erected on flood-plains, lack of maintenance as you say, and, of course, climate change.
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#18 Bedford Roughyed

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 06:00 PM

There probably isn't one reason for the more regular flooding incidents we seem to be experiencing, but a combination of factors. More land has been built on/concreted over, the need for development in certain areas has meant housing being erected on flood-plains, lack of maintenance as you say, and, of course, climate change.

There is a bit of everything in there. Plus flood defences in one area can 'push' the problem elsewhere.

Record low arctic ice could be changing the position of the jet stream (nothing proven yet).

Still nothing to see here... put fingers in ears and ignore it...
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#19 JohnM

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 06:16 PM

1. Owing to the increase in the area of hard standing - car parks, patios drives etc, rainwater drains are being required to handle run-off that they were not designed to handle. The result is also this sort of thing: http://www.kingston....rd_standing.htm To replace/upgrade them would maybe be prohibitively expensive.

2. I think that the base flood risk data comes from the Environment Agency. See here: http://www.environme...sure/37837.aspx Key in your post code top right to see if you are doomed!

3. Maybe the solution would be for the EA to downgrade the data so it looks as though the risk is lower!!!

#20 Saintslass

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 08:55 PM

Well, according to the society that deals with weather (I can't spell it but it begins with an M!), since 2000 the global temperature remained static for 10 years and has actually dropped over the last two years, so that kind of flies in the face of the messages we were bombarded with concerning global warming.

When the report came out from the society that deals with weather about the global temperature, they also mentioned the nature of the rain we have been getting in the UK since 2000. I thought it was just me, getting older and so looking back through rose tinted glasses at passing showers and summer sunshine, but apparently it's not just me. As a matter of fact, the frequency of torrential rain has increased since 2000, markedly since 2007. In 2012 I have lost count of the number of torrential rainstorms we have experienced in my neck of the woods, and personally for that I blame whoever it was who decided we needed a hosepipe ban back in March when claims were being made that most of England was in drought. I remember quite clearly weather people and others saying that we need lots of rain because the water table was too low. Ha! They clearly tempted the weather gods because now our water table is so full that even non-torrential rain could bring about floods - anywhere in the country. I hope those people are now flagilating.

I don't think matters are helped by the amount of concrete and other impervious surfaces we have covered the country with. That was ok when we had showers with the occasional dousing of real rain but now that things have changed there should be a serious policy of digging up and returning to grass so that we have a greater opportunity in more places to survive these torrential rainstorms we are getting with greater frequency without the consequences being so catastrophic.

The other problem is that I think almost universally local councils have cut back on drain clearage. I know that is the case in my home town. We have to contact the council now if a drain looks blocked and they will come and clear it. The problem with that is that (a) we might not notice it is blocked until a torrential storm floods us out of house and home, and/or ( b ) how blocked does a drain need to be to cause mayhem on the surface?

Ultimately, though, if this climate change that clearly we have been experiencing is going to be with us for good then we need to make significant changes to the way we approach, well, everything really. While I understand the need for the government to control spending, or get the national debt down or whatever it is they are supposed to be doing, the regular destruction of homes (sometimes on multiple occasions over a period of a couple of years - or one year in the case of 2012) and businesses is not going to help the economy to grow. Flood defences have to be a priority because we can do nothing about the weather and if this weather is here to stay we have to be prepared for it as best as we can be.

Edited by Saintslass, 01 December 2012 - 08:58 PM.





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