Malcolm Newson

and 1 more

Flood-related policies for England are reviewed, updating needs in the light of recent flood-rich decades and in recognition of future climate trends. This review updates one we published in 2021- a significant year for extreme floods in Europe that were part of a continuing trend; governments now require fast-track adaptation and resilience policies. Currently, the event signals of increasing spatial and temporal variability in impacts is insufficiently incorporated in hazard/risk assessments. We advocate a transformative policy change towards place-based strategies, based on the fast-emerging evidence from three sciences: hydroclimatology, hydrology and hydromorphology. It is vital that policy actions recognise factors such as atmospheric rivers, surface water flooding, and the role of eroded and transported sediments in localised hazards and risks. Located vulnerabilities require local strategies. Attribution of extreme events to climate change, and the recognition and specification of genuinely vulnerable sites, need further refinement and extension into public decision making. Risk assessment needs reform, both from science but also for institutions and individuals, with accompanying reform of flood risk management expenditure. Data analysis, e.g. of rainfall and river flow, needs more disciplined clarity; standard sets are needed together with their variable spatial/temporal application. We further recognise sediment hazards (and other entrained debris spread in flood flows) as new and important components for the located risk of present and emerging ‘hot spots’.