For example, by using open spaces and watercourses to enhance the environment, by providing recreational opportunities and by sustainably managing water to help reduce flood risk. This is commonly referred to as blue/green infrastructure. In addition to blue/green infrastructure it is recognised that significant investment is also required in more traditional “hard engineered” infrastructure, like sewers, pumping stations and upgrades to our wastewater treatment works.
A catchment based approach includes managing rain water higher up the catchment through good agricultural and land management practice including the use of Natural Flood Management. This helps to control runoff, reduce agricultural pollution, and soil erosion and reduce peak flows. The provision of flood storage areas further down the catchment retains water during times of high rainfall, helping to manage downstream flooding. These storage areas help even out discharge to maintain river flow in times of drought while also providing a range of habitats to improve biodiversity. This catchment based approach is very much in line with current best practice, including recent guidance by the Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA) on ‘Delivering Better Water Management through the Planning System’.