Flood and Water Management Act 2010

Document Number:2010 CHAPTER 29
 
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An Act to make provision about water, including provision about the management of risks in connection with flooding and coastal erosion.

[8 th April 2010]

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Part 1 Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management

  1. Key concepts and definitions

    1“Flood” and “coastal erosion”

    (1)“Flood” includes any case where land not normally covered by water becomes covered by water.

    (2) It does not matter for the purpose of subsection (1) whether a flood is caused by—

    (a) heavy rainfall,

    (b) a river overflowing or its banks being breached,

    (c) a dam overflowing or being breached,

    (d) tidal waters,

    (e) groundwater, or

    (e) anything else (including any combination of factors).

    (3) But “flood” does not include—

    (a) a flood from any part of a sewerage system, unless wholly or partly caused by an increase in the volume of rainwater (including snow and other precipitation) entering or otherwise affecting the system, or

    (b) a flood caused by a burst water main (within the meaning given by section 219 of the Water Industry Act 1991).

    (4)“Coastal erosion” means the erosion of the coast of any part of England or Wales.

    2“Risk”

    (1)“Risk” means a risk in respect of an occurrence assessed and expressed (as for insurance and scientific purposes) as a combination of the probability of the occurrence with its potential consequences.

    (2)“Flood risk” means a risk in respect of flood.

    (3)“Coastal erosion risk” means a risk in respect of coastal erosion.

    (4) In each case the potential harmful consequences to be considered in assessing risk include, in particular, consequences for—

    (a) human health,

    (b) the social and economic welfare of individuals and communities,

    (c) infrastructure, and

    (d) the environment (including cultural heritage).

    3“Risk management”

    (1)“Risk management” means anything done for the purpose of—

    (a) analysing a risk,

    (b) assessing a risk,

    (c) reducing a risk,

    (d) reducing a component in the assessment of a risk,

    (e) altering the balance of factors combined in assessing a risk, or

    (f) otherwise taking action in respect of a risk or a factor relevant to the assessment of a risk (including action for the purpose of flood defence).

    (2) In particular, risk management includes things done—

    (a) that increase the probability of an event but reduce or alter its potential consequences, or

    (b) that increase the probability of an event occurring at one time or in one place but reduce the probability of it occurring at another time or in another place.

    (3) The following are examples of things that might be done in the course of flood or coastal erosion risk management—

    (a) planning, erecting, maintaining, altering or removing buildings or other structures (including structures built or used for flood defence purposes) ,

    (b) maintaining or restoring natural processes,

    (c) reducing or increasing the level of water in a place (whether or not it results in a change to the water level in another place) ,

    (d) carrying out work in respect of a river or other watercourse (such as taking things out of it or supporting or diverting the banks) ,

    (e) moving things onto, off or around a beach, or carrying out other works in respect of the shoreline,

    (f) using statutory or other powers to permit, require, restrict or prevent activities,

    (g) making arrangements for financial or other support for action taken by persons in respect of a risk of, or in preparing to manage the consequences of, flooding or coastal erosion,

    (h) making arrangements for forecasting and warning,

    (i) preparing, gathering and disseminating maps, plans, surveys and other information, and

    (j) providing education and giving guidance (including, for example, guidance on changes to land management).

    4“Flood risk management function”

    (1)“Flood risk management function” means a function listed in subsection (2) which may be exercised by a risk management authority for a purpose connected with flood risk management.

    (2) The functions are—

    (a) a function under this Part,

    (b) a function under section 159 or 160 of the Water Resources Act 1991 ,

    (c) a flood defence function within the meaning of section 221 of that Act,

    (d) a function under the Land Drainage Act 1991 ,

    (e) a function under section 100 , 101 , 110 or 339 of the Highways Act 1980 , and

    (f) any other function, under an enactment, specified for the purposes of this section by order made by the Minister.

    (3) In this section and section 5 “the Minister” means—

    (a) the Secretary of State in relation to flood and coastal erosion risk management in England, and

    (b) the Welsh Ministers in relation to flood and coastal erosion risk management in Wales.

    5“Coastal erosion risk management function”

    (1)“Coastal erosion risk management function” means a function listed in subsection (2) which may be exercised by a risk management authority for a purpose connected with coastal erosion.

    (2) The functions are—

    (a) a function under this Part,

    (b) a function under the Coast Protection Act 1949 , and

    (c) any other function, under an enactment, specified for the purposes of this section by order made by the Minister.

    6 Other definitions

    (1)“Main river” has the meaning given by section 113 of the Water Resources Act 1991.

    (2)“Watercourse” has the meaning given by section 72(1) of the Land Drainage Act 1991.

    (3)“Ordinary watercourse” means a watercourse that does not form part of a main river.

    (4)“Groundwater” means all water which is below the surface of the ground and in direct contact with the ground or subsoil.

    (5)“Surface runoff” means rainwater (including snow and other precipitation) which—

    (a) is on the surface of the ground (whether or not it is moving) , and

    (b) has not entered a watercourse, drainage system or public sewer.

    (6) In subsection (5)(b)—

    (a) the reference to a watercourse includes a reference to a lake, pond or other area of water which flows into a watercourse, and

    (b)“drainage system” has the meaning given by paragraph 1 of Schedule 3.

    (7)“Lead local flood authority” in relation to an area in England means—

    (a) the unitary authority for the area, or

    (b) if there is no unitary authority, the county council for the area.

    (8)“Unitary authority” means—

    (a) the council of a county for which there are no district councils;

    (b) the council of a district in an area for which there is no county council;

    (c) the council of a London borough;

    (d) the Common Council of the City of London;

    (e) the Council of the Isles of Scilly.

    (9)“Lead local flood authority” in relation to an area in Wales means—

    (a) the county council for the area;

    (b) the county borough council for the area.

    (10)“Internal drainage board” has the same meaning as in section 1 of the Land Drainage Act 1991.

    (11)“Water company” means a company which holds—

    (a) an appointment under Chapter 1 of Part 2 of the Water Industry Act 1991 , or

    (b) a licence under Chapter 1 A of Part 2 of that Act.

    (12)“Highway authority” has the meaning given by section 1 of the Highways Act 1980.

    (13)“Risk management authority” means—

    (a) the Environment Agency,

    (b) a lead local flood authority,

    (c) a district council for an area for which there is no unitary authority,

    (d) an internal drainage board,

    (e) a water company, and

    (f) a highway authority.

    (14)“English risk management authority” means—

    (a) the Environment Agency,

    (b) a risk management authority within subsection (13)(b) , (c) or (f) for an area that is wholly in England,

    (c) an internal drainage board for an internal drainage district that is wholly or mainly in England, and

    (d) a water company that exercises functions in relation to an area in England.

    (15)“Welsh risk management authority” means—

    (a) the Environment Agency,

    (b) a risk management authority within subsection (13)(b) , (c) or (f) for an area that is wholly in Wales,

    (c) an internal drainage board for an internal drainage district that is wholly or mainly in Wales, and

    (d) a water company that exercises functions in relation to an area in Wales.

    (16)“Cross-border internal drainage board” means an internal drainage board for an internal drainage district that is partly in England and partly in Wales.

  2. Strategies, co-operation and funding

    7 National flood and coastal erosion risk management strategy: England

    (1) The Environment Agency must develop, maintain, apply and monitor a strategy for flood and coastal erosion risk management in England (a “national flood and coastal erosion risk management strategy”).

    (2) The strategy must specify—

    (a) the English risk management authorities,

    (b) the flood and coastal erosion risk management functions that may be exercised by those authorities in relation to England,

    (c) the objectives for managing flood and coastal erosion risk,

    (d) the measures proposed to achieve those objectives,

    (e) how and when the measures are to be implemented,

    (f) the costs and benefits of those measures, and how they are to be paid for,

    (g) the assessment of flood and coastal erosion risk for the purpose of the strategy,

    (h) how and when the strategy is to be reviewed,

    (i) the current and predicted impact of climate change on flood and coastal erosion risk management, and

    (j) how the strategy contributes towards the achievement of wider environmental objectives.

    (3) The Agency must consult the following about the national flood and coastal erosion risk management strategy—

    (a) the English risk management authorities,

    (b) the public,

    (c) so far as the strategy may affect flood and coastal erosion risk management in Wales, the Welsh Ministers, and

    (d) so far as the strategy may affect flood and coastal erosion risk management in Scotland, the Scottish Ministers.

    (4) The Agency must publish a summary of the strategy.

    (5) The Agency may issue guidance about the application of the strategy.

    (6) The Agency may, in particular, issue...

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