Skip to main content

Flood risk management

  • By Jennifer Sibley

Flooding can come from various sources, including coastal waters, rivers, surface and ground water. London, like most urban areas, is most vulnerable to surface water flooding. This is because built up areas have reduced natural drainage and heavy rainfall can swiftly overwhelm the drainage network, quickly leading to flooding of low-lying areas. 

Climate change is projected to increase the frequency and intensity of heavy rainfall, whilst London’s growth will mean that more people, property and infrastructure will be at risk.


We are working in partnership with the Environment Agency and other key stakeholders to support the capital’s boroughs in meeting their statutory duties as Lead Local Flood Authorities (LLFAs). LLFAs must identify the flood risks in their area, what interventions could help to mitigate those risks and manage the funding that is available for these interventions.

Our work includes supporting the lead members representing London on the Thames Regional Flood and Coastal Committee and taking an active role in the Drain London partnership. Our current focus is ensuring that boroughs have sufficient capacity to maximise the opportunities that arise from London's allocation of funding for flood risk management through the Thames Regional Flood and Coastal Committee.

We are working in partnership with the Thames Regional Flood and Coastal Committee, Environment Agency, Lead Local Flood Authorities and the GLA to recruit new officers to support the 53 authorities covered by the Thames Regional Flood and Coastal Committee to advance flood defence schemes for funding. 

Sustainable drainage

We have produced a members briefing on the changes to sustainable drainage systems (please note, this requires a members login. Officers can request this briefing by contacting Jennifer Sibley). The Chair of TEC, Cllr Julian Bell, together with the Head of Transport and Environment Katharina Winbeck represented boroughs on the Green Infrastructure Taskforce. The Taskforce made some recommendations for boroughs, which can be read in this TEC report. We will also be running a members event on sustainable drainage in June 2016.