Areas of the UK, mainly the North of England including Cumbria, have seen severe flooding due to heavier than usual rainfall.
Professor Roger Falconer, a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Professor of Water Management at Cardiff University, says:
“With increasing changes in weather patterns and more frequent severe storms, we need to look at bigger opportunities to create more water storage further up our river catchments. These might include small dams in the headlands or working with farmers to build embankments around fields to store water during the winter months when cattle are housed indoors.”
Prof. Jim Hall, a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Director of the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford, said:
“The worrying aspect of these floods is that they are causing such severe damage even after major steps had been taken to improve the flood defences in Carlisle and Cockermouth and to improve the resilience of the nation’s electricity infrastructure. Local communities have tried to protect themselves but in many places that has just been overwhelmed by extreme rainfall and river flows.
“We know that there is always a chance that flood defences can be exceeded in the most extreme floods. Storm Desmond means that we will have to re-evaluate standards of flood defence and then think again about what needs to be done to reduce the risk of major damage and disruption to flood-prone communities.”