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New maps show flooding risk in Scotland

January 15, 2014 1:56 PM
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New maps show flooding risk in Scotland

New detailed maps showing which areas of Scotland are at risk of flooding have been made available to the public.

The online maps show different types of flooding, the likelihood of it happening and the likely impact.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) said the maps would be an important tool in developing a better approach for managing flooding.

The environment minister said given the growing frequency of extreme weather events, such preparation was paramount.

At a Scottish government summit on flooding, Paul Wheelhouse said: "A huge amount of work has gone into the creation of these maps and their launch comes as a result of successful partnership working between the Scottish government, Sepa, local authorities and Scottish Water.

"This tool will help us to better understand the nature of flood risks at a local level and thereby to target efforts to plan and invest in mitigating potential flooding impacts in vulnerable areas."

One map includes information on depth and velocity, while another identifies opportunities for "natural flood management" where natural processes and the shape of the land are suited to helping reduce the flood risk.

Sepa chief executive James Curran said the maps would help relevant partners "take a more co-ordinated, sustainable and targeted approach" towards reducing the impacts of flooding.

"It is clear that there has never been a greater need for this information as we have seen, yet again over the last month, the misery that flooding has brought to communities across the country," he said.

"As many people will be all too aware, flooding is a real threat and it can have devastating effects on lives and properties.

"In Scotland, for many years now, we've been aware of the expected increase in flooding caused by climate change, and by having more information on the types of flooding and its impacts we can make more informed decisions and target our resources in the areas where we can make a real difference."

He also urged members of the public to use the information to help prepare and protect themselves and their properties.

"We would also encourage people to sign up to our Floodline service to receive free advance notification of flooding 24 hours a day," he added.

Welcoming the maps, WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: "Climate change will mean Scotland's weather will become more extreme and more unpredictable, including more floods and storms.

"So, while these maps should help us to plan and prepare, the best insurance policy to head off the worst of the danger is to reduce the emissions which are changing our climate."

The development of the maps has been driven by the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act (FRM Act).


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