Hydro International's consulting team - Hydro-Logic® Services - has won three catchment-scale natural flood management (NFM) projects with Herefordshire Council, Worcestershire County Council and Telford & Wrekin Council.
Part of £15m flood mitigation funding from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra), the three-year project covers eleven catchments in total - seven in Herefordshire, three in Worcestershire and one in Coalbrookdale.
The objective of the flood management projects is to place natural flood measures near the source and upper parts of the catchments to help store flood waters upstream, which then release the water in a controlled manner, either delaying the flood to give earlier warning to first responders or to prevent it entirely by delaying the lag time. While these outcomes are achieved using natural means, the exact same principles also apply with Hydro-Brake® Flood flow control.
The Hydro-Logic® Services team will monitor rainfall, water level and water flow before and after the NFM projects have been completed, in order to enable the councils to measure the effects of the flood mitigation measures.
The team will install remote data loggers at more than 30 sites across the catchments, providing near-real time data to the three councils. This will provide insight into water levels, flow rates and climate conditions, and will enable them to create stage discharge reports and to refine their flood models. The team will also provide training to local communities in Hereford and Worcestershire.
“These flood management projects will be transformative for communities in Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Telford and Wrekin, so we’re delighted to be part of them,” said Rob Burton, Head of Hydrometry at Hydro-Logic® Services. “What people might not appreciate is that without regular monitoring, projects such as these can become less effective as conditions evolve. We manage the UK’s largest network of monitoring sites, looking at flooding, climate and other environmental factors, so we’re looking forward to providing the councils with reliable real-world data that they can use to deliver effective flood protection for years to come.”
Natural flood management is a practise that involves implementing measures that help to prevent and mitigate the effects of flooding in order to protect, restore and emulate the natural functions of catchments, floodplains, rivers and the coast.
The objective of NFM is to reduce the maximum flood volume - the peak flood flow - and / or delay the arrival of the peak flood flow to downstream areas, thereby providing more time for preparation, warning or evacuation activities. This is achieved through storing and slowing the flow of water, increasing attenuation and managing peak flows from tributaries.
NFM may be applied in a range of environments - catchments, rivers, coasts and in urban areas - and uses a range of techniques, applying both natural and proprietary technologies to achieve its objectives.