Introduction - Scottish Executive

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					A Dissertation submitted for the degree of Master of Philosophy
degree by Ioulia Timochkina
27th August 2004

         System Analysis Approach to
        Evaluating the Sustainability of

     Asset Management in the UK Water

              Flooding Issues in Scotland

                                  Supervisor: Dr. Richard Fenner
                                    Advisor: Prof. Charles Ainger

                                   University of Cambridge
                                   Engineering Department

                                   Centre for Sustainable

I would like to express my gratitude to the following persons:

To Dr. Richard Fenner, for his positive attitude, patience and academic advice
throughout the year:
Dr. Fenner, your time and knowledge were much appreciated;

To Prof. Charles Ainger, for his inspiring teaching of sustainable development; for
his encouragement and guidance:
Prof.   Ainger,    thank    you   very    much    for   your     positive   attitude,
recommendations and time;

To Dr. David Reiner, for his knowledge and assistance in system analysis and
Dr. Reiner, thank you for this key input in my research;

To Ivan Valdez-Bubnov, for his invaluable mentorship and sincere help;
Ivan, thank you very much for your warmth and support throughout the
writing process;

To Heather Cruickshank, for her collaboration and sincere interest throughout the
whole year:
Heather, thank you for your assistance and technical advice in the
production of this study;

To all my interviewees, whose knowledge and collaboration provided me with a
profound insight into the current challenges of the sector, thus making this work
Thank you very much;

And last, but not least, to my course-mates, for their assistance, warmth and
Thank you very much for the amazing year we spent together. I hope that we
will work together again in the future.

This dissertation is substantially my own work and conforms to
the Department of Engineering’s guidelines on plagiarism. Where
reference has been made to other research this is acknowledged
in the text and bibliography.

Our society has invested considerable funds in infrastructure development on flood plains.
However, the approach to flood management has always been reactive: flood defenses are
usually built after flooding cause severe damage to constructions. Recent evidence has
proved that traditional engineering measures are insufficient to protect the population from
flooding. A sustainable long-term approach for floodplain development, which considers
socio-economic constraints as well as environmental objectives, is necessary to in order to
mitigate flood impact and to manage the causes of flooding.

     This research aims to explore the current investment structure and the process of
investment decision-making in Scotland. Collaboration with the Scottish Executive‟s
National Technical Advisory Group provided deep understanding of the influential aspects
of the Scottish water industry and flood management.

     In order to investigate sustainable flood management options that will direct asset
investment strategy, an application of the system analysis tool is examined. This includes
the development of a conceptual framework to integrate the flood sources, spatial and
temporal implementation scales and possible intervention/response measures. System
modelling allowed the construction of a more sustainable investment decision framework
for high-level asset investment, capable of bringing together various projects, drivers, and
social, economic and environmental issues. It also helped to explore the developments
required for integrated flood risk management strategy to be transformed into practice.

                     List of Abbreviations

EU         European Union

WFD        Water Framework Directive

WEWS       Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003

NTAG       National Technical Advisory Group

WWF        World Wildlife Fund

SNH        Scottish Natural Heritage

SEPA       Scottish Environment Protection Agency

ABI        Association of British Insurers

WHO        World Health Organisation

ICE        Institution of Civil Engineers

DEFRA      Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs

UNESCAP    United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the

UNISDR     United Nations‟ International Strategy for Disaster Reduction

HMSO       Her Majesty's Stationery Office

IBRM       Integrated River Basin Management

PROFETAS   PROtein, Foods, Environment, Technology and Society research

                                        Table of Contents
1         Introduction ........................................................................................... 2
2         Methodology and Scope of the Project ............................................... 4
    2.1      Understanding System Analysis .................................................................. 4
    2.2      System Analysis Approach for Planning and Policy ................................... 6
    2.3      Concepts for Model Construction ................................................................ 7
3         Current View and Approach for Flood Management....................... 8
    3.1    Flooding and Its Impacts ............................................................................. 8
    3.2    Causes of Increasingly Severe Flooding ..................................................... 9
    3.3    Classification of Tools for Flood Alleviation ............................................ 12
    3.4    Sustainable Flood Management and Current Legislative Framework ...... 15
      3.4.1    The Water Framework Directive........................................................ 15
      3.4.2    Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003........... 16
      3.4.3    Flood Prevention and Land Drainage (Scotland) Act 1997 ............... 17
    3.5    Current Situation in Scotland..................................................................... 18
4         Current Vision of Sustainable Flood Management in Scotland..... 19
    4.1      Current Definition and Principles of Sustainable Flood Management ...... 19
    4.2      Summary of Key Stakeholders‟ Opinions ................................................. 21
    4.3      Conclusions ................................................................................................ 33
5         Barriers for Sustainable Flood Management ................................... 35
    5.1      Fragmentation of Legislation and Policies ................................................ 35
    5.2      Fragmentation of Knowledge .................................................................... 37
    5.3      Gerontocracy.............................................................................................. 40
    5.4      Market Imperfections................................................................................. 41
    5.5      Summary of Main Findings ....................................................................... 42
6         System Analysis and Proposition of Leverage Measures ................ 44
    6.1      Stage A. Planning and Construction of Property ....................................... 45
    6.2      Stage B. Acquisition of Property ............................................................... 48
    6.3      Stage C. Flooding of Property ................................................................... 49
    6.4      Stage D. Planning and Construction of Flood Defences ........................... 61
    6.5      Summary of Proposed Measures ............................................................... 63
7     Conclusions and Summary of the Proposed Strategy ..................... 66
References........................................................................................................ 71
Appendix 1. Diagrams of SUDs ....................................................................... 74

1      Introduction
Problem Definition

Throughout time society has made a considerable investment in floodplain areas in the
form of building communities and improved agriculture. Some 77,000 properties in
Scotland are estimated to be at an annual risk of 1% of flooding from rivers. In addition,
90,000 properties are at risk of flooding from the sea (Scottish Executive, 2003). Flooding
may also arise from sewers and overland flowing, following intense rainfall.

       Recent evidence has proved that traditional engineering measures are insufficient to
protect population from flooding. Additionally, they are often not designed with other
wider considerations in mind, such as environmental enhancement, benefits for society,
and impact on the terrestrial and aquatic habitats. Moreover, climate change scenarios
point towards flood problems becoming worse over the next decades (Foresight, 2004). In
this context, sustainable flood management is the key strategy and an effective route
recognised under Part II of Water Services and Water Environment (Scotland) Act 2003.

       Sustainable flood management must balance asset investments in the water sector
for effective protection against a changing risk environment, and deliver sustainable and
environmentally sound management solutions. It requires understanding of the behaviour
of two kinds of complex systems. The first is a system of physical assets and the second is
a complex system of “players”. The key factor for asset investments is decision-making,
which in turn depends on legislative and institutional frameworks. In Scotland, both
frameworks are undergoing major changes, but careful planning is necessary in order to
facilitate new interactions between different agents and establish decision-making rules for
sustained, beneficial changes to the system.

Research Aims

The aim of this research is to explore the complex system of interaction between important
players involved in flood management in Scotland in order to encourage effective
interorganisation and to facilitate system operation in terms of better time and cost-
efficiency. System analysis helps to identify the necessary drivers for the change of the

behavior in order to achieve a more proactive approach in decision-making and to avoid
counteractive behaviour of different players.

Key Objectives

Key objectives of this research are to:

     1.    Identify the key players and their main interactions;
     2.    Record and draw up the system behaviour in the „language‟ of system
           modelling, to clarify and communicate it in a consistent way;
     3.    Identify present positive and negative feedback loops and examine possible
           different ways of driving interactive behaviour in order to implement corrective
     4.    Consider how to encourage and facilitate a more integrated approach to flood
     5.    Consider how the links between different institutional settings might be adopted
           for sustainable flood management;
     6.    Clarify key recurring principles of success or failure in planning and
           management activities for sustainable flood management

Report Structure

The report starts with a discussion of system analysis and its implications as a
comprehensive tool for policy and planning in Chapter 2. The current views on flood
management worldwide as well as main legislation arrangements under which decision-
making is taking place are presented in Chapter 3. Chapter 4 includes the draft definition,
objectives and principles for sustainable flood management produced by the National
Technical Advisory Group. In addition, the opinions of involved stakeholders about each
other, including their responsibilities and important activities, are summarised. Also,
discussion of the main drivers to achieve sustainable flood management for policy-makers
is included in this chapter. Chapter 5 presents current barriers for sustainable flood
management. Chapter 6 introduces system modelling and feedback loops identification for
asset investments. The link between key players and asset investments, together with the
specific actions for the improvement of decision-making, are presented in Chapter 7. The
report concludes with the author‟s personal opinion about system modelling as a tool for
planning for sustainable development.

2         Methodology and Scope of the Project
2.1       Understanding System Analysis
Accelerating changes transform our world and challenge traditional institutions, practices,
and beliefs. All too often, well-intended efforts to solve pressing problems lead to policy
resistance, our policies being delayed, diluted, or defeated by the unforeseen reactions of
people or nature. New fundamental ways of thinking and acting are required to
comprehend the changes. The “Systems Thinking” is the ability to view the world as a
complex system, to understand the interconnections between its parts and to act in
consonance with long-term best interests of the system as a whole (Lyneis, 1980).

          One of the main causes of policy resistance is our tendency to interpret experience
as a series of events rather than a full range of feedback loops operating in the system.
Much of the system modelling art is discovering and representing the feedback process.
System behaviour arises from the interaction among the components, not from their
complexity or number. All systems‟ behaviour arises from the interaction of two types of
feedback loops, positive (or self-reinforcing) and negative (or self-correcting) loops.

          This behaviour presents the following characteristics (Sterman, 2000):

            Dynamic: Complex systems are in disequilibrium and evolve. Changes in
             systems occur at many time scales, and these sometimes interact.

            Tightly coupled: The actors in the system interact strongly with one another
             and with the natural world.

            Governed by feedback: Our decisions alter the state of the world, thus
             producing feedback, causing changes in nature and triggering others to act. This
             gives rise to a new situation which then influences our future decisions.

            Nonlinear: Effect is rarely proportional to cause, and what happens locally in a
             system often does not apply in distant regions.

            History-dependent: Many actions yield irreversible consequences. The past
             cannot be compared well to current circumstances.

            Self-organising: The dynamics of systems arise spontaneously from their
             internal structure.

          Adaptive: The capabilities and decisions rules of the agents in complex
           systems change over time. Adaptation also occurs as people learn from
           experience, especially as they learn new ways to achieve their goals in the face
           of obstacles.

          Counterintuitive: In complex systems cause and effect are distant in time and
           space. Out attention is drawn to the symptoms of difficulty rather than the
           underlying cause. High leverage policies are often not obvious.

          Policy resistant: The complexity of the system in which we are embedded
           overwhelms our ability to understand it.

          Characterised by trade-offs: Time delays in feedback channels mean that the
           long-run response of a system is often different from its short-run response.
           High leverage policies often cause worse-before-better behaviour, while low
           leverage policies generate transitory improvement before problems grow worse
           (Sterman, 2000).

Information feedback about the real world is not the only input to our decisions. Decisions
are the result of applying a decision or policy to information about the world as we
perceive it. The policies are themselves conditioned by institutional structures,
organisational strategies and cultural norms. These, in turn, are governed by our mental
models. However, in cases of sustainable development, our mental model and single-loop
learning - a process whereby we learn to reach our current goals in the context of our
existing mental models - is in constant change and requires a system correction.
Information about the real world not only alters our decisions within the context of existing
frames and decision rules, but also provides the feedback to alter our mental models. As
our mental models change, we change the structure of our systems, creating different
decision rules and new strategies. The same information processed and interpreted by a
different decision rule now yields a different decision. Even if the initial choices of the
decision makers do not close the gaps between the desired state and the actual states, the
system might eventually reach the desired state as subsequent decisions are revised in light
of the information received. Altering the structure of our system then alters the patterns of
behaviour. This type of reframing is denoted as double-loop learning, and is represented by
Figure 1. It also shows the main ways in which each link in this process can fail.

-Unknown structure                                                              -Selective perception
-Dynamic complexity                                                             -Missing feedback
-Time delays                                  Real World                        -Delay
-Inability to conduct                                                           -Bias, distortion, error
controlled experiments                                                          -Ambiguity
                                    Decisions                Information
-Implementation failure                                       Feedback
-Game playing
                                                                                -Misperception of
-Performance is goal                                                            feedback
                                                                                -Unscientific reasoning
                            Strategy, Structure,         Mental Models of       -Judgemental biases
-Inability to infer          Decisions Rules               Real World           -Defensive routines
dynamics from mental
     Figure 1 Double-loop Learning (Source: Sterman, 2000)

     2.2      System Analysis Approach for Planning and Policy
     Large-scale projects are among the most important and consistently mismanaged
     endeavours in modern society. Design and construction of civil engineering works and
     infrastructure routinely experience cost overruns, delays, and quality problems. On
     average, most projects cost 50% more and twice as long as originally scheduled (Sterman,

              A fundamental principle of system dynamics states that the structure of the system
     gives rise to its behaviour. Therefore, the goal of this research is to find management
     policies and leverage points in the system structure to redesign the system to a more
     effective functioning and to avoid policy resistance. The purpose is to move from
     generalisations about accelerating learning and system thinking to tools and processes that
     help to understand complexity, design better operating policies, and to guide system
     change for sustainable flood management asset investments.

         Interviews with key stakeholders provided first-hand information on current thinking
     and issues in flood management. Between May and June 2004, fourteen representatives
     were interviewed. The key organisations were identified as:

             Scottish Executive,
             Local Councils,
             Scottish Water,
             Scottish Environment Protection Agency,
             Scottish Natural Heritage,

          World Wildlife Fund,
       Association of British Insurers.

          Interviews were conducted confidentially. However, all opinions of interviewees
were preserved. Interviews were analysed using cognitive mapping, which may be
defined as the structured process of creating a mental map (Ackerman F., Eden C., Cropper
S., 1992). The process helps to structure, organise and analyse data in order to interrelate
ideas and to produce an interpretable pictorial view. Basically, a concept map is a graphical
representation of a knowledge structure.

2.3        Concepts for Model Construction
Two central ideas in system dynamics are stocks and flows and feedback. This research
uses Vensim software to construct and analyse the models. The sign system used is given
in Table 1.

Table 1 Sign System Used for Systems’ Modelling

                          Stocks are accumulations, characterising the state of the system
            Stock         (inventory).

           flow        Stocks are altered by flows (inventory is changed by the flows of
                       production and shipments).
 Feedback can be defined as a result of an action that defines the situation in the future.
 All dynamics arise from the interaction of two feedback loops:
                       Positive (or self-reinforcing): creation of paved areas increases
        +              run-off.
                          Negative (or self-correcting): damage from flooding to property
  t          -
                          decreases its value.
 In order to differentiate corrective feedback loops from those currently driving the
 system behaviour, they were marked with the red colour.

3      Current View and Approach for Flood Management
3.1    Flooding and Its Impacts
Flooding is a part of the natural hydrological cycle composing rainfall, surface and
groundwater flow, and storage. The phenomenon occurs when a volume of water enters an
area and cannot be discharged swiftly enough.

       Historically, Scotland has not suffered from severe flooding, though riverside and
coastal flooding has occurred in Scottish communities since the first settlements.
Currently, the effects of flooding are less readily accepted than during previous centuries
due to an increased population in flood prone areas, coupled with a higher standard of
living, which results in severe material damage. Also, attitudes have changed, and people
are less willing to accept the negative consequences of natural events. Science predicts that
the frequency of flooding in Scotland will increase significantly due to greater and more
intense rainfall and rising sea levels. The Scottish Executive recently commissioned a
detailed study which showed that rainfall is expected to increase on average by about 20%.
The sea level at Aberdeen has risen by nearly 70 mm since 1900 and much of the Scottish
coast has seen an increase in flood risk. It seems inevitable that flooding will become a
significant problem in Scotland (Scottish Executive, 2003).

       Climate change is likely to have the most significant direct impact on property
insurance. Weather in the 1960s was close to the long run average, but since then the UK
has experienced many warmer and wetter than expected months, especially in the 1990s
and 2000s, and fewer cold months (see Figure 1). These climate trends are likely to
continue. Properties at high risk of flooding in the UK could double to nearly 3.5 million if
current trends in flood defense spending and settlement patterns continue (ABI, 2003). The
insurance industry has announced that the guarantee of flood risk cover may be withdrawn
unless there are demonstrable improvements in planning of new developments, as well as
commitments to maintain and enhance existing flood alleviation and flood warning
schemes (ABI, 2003).

Figure 2 The number of extreme temperature and rainfall months per decade in the recent UK record.
Extremes are defined as values in the top or bottom 10 % of the historic distributions. 12 extreme
months per decade are expected (Source: ABI, 2003)

3.2       Causes of Increasingly Severe Flooding
The amount of flood water depends on natural factors but human activities influences
natural factors and create additional burdens on the water systems which, in turn, increase
both the scale and frequency of flooding. A review of publications from WWF, ICE,
DEFRA, WHO, World Commission on Dams, PartneRe and UNESCAP, allowed the
major factors leading to flooding to be summarised.

          The natural cycle starts with raining upstream or the melting of snow, the water
traveling down rivers towards the sea. Flood waves traveling down a river may cause
flooding due to a number of natural factors, including:

              Climatic conditions,

              Soil and vegetation cover,

              Rock type and landscape form.

Sufficient direct rainfall on an area may also cause flooding. The drainage network and the
topography of the area play a vital role. It is apparent that many existing drainage systems,
either natural or human-made, are unable to cope with raised water tables and increased
surface water runoff. This leads to properties and roads being flooded by runoff from
surrounding land, and to disruption from earth slips and silting. Sometimes, flood events
cause floodwater to become contaminated with raw sewage, giving rise to a significant
health risk.

         In coastal areas, flooding can also be caused by storm surges. In this case, the
combination of high tides and water level due to storm surges, combined with the shape of
the estuary, results in the flooding of coastal lands, overtopping and breaching of sea
defenses. Also, an increased river discharge due to rainfall on the catchment area
contributes to the problem (World Commission on Dams, 2000)

   Nevertheless, flooding is mostly a consequence of human mismanagement of the

           Changes in river-basin land-use, which have an effect on the quantity and
            speed of water running into watercourses. Such changes include:

            o     Agricultural intensification resulting in drained wetlands, simplified
                  landscape, and removal of natural vegetation cover to a narrow range of

            o     Urban development leading to the loss of floodplains and great areas of
                  impermeable surfaces, thus channelling the excess flow directly into
                  streams and rivers, and raising the risk of downstream flooding;

            o     Transport development creating greater areas of impermeable surfaces;

            o     Deforestation resulting leads to increased run-off and reduced catchment

           River regulation are physical changes imposed on watercourses, and include
            the following:

            o     Flood protection dykes constricting river courses and potentially leading
                  to catastrophic breakthrough or overtopping of the dike walls.

            o     Dams are the most common forms of direct infrastructure on rivers,
                  modifying 46% of primary watersheds in the world. Dams fragment river
                  systems, radically altering their hydrological and ecological functioning.
                  They also lead to permanent inundation of floodplains upstream and to the
                  possible worsening of flooding downstream, thus destroying downstream
                  floodplains by trapping sediments behind the dams (World Commission
                  on Dams, 2000).

           o    River channelisation aims to transport flows as rapidly as possible.
                Through this process, a heterogeneous meandering river is changed into a
                homogeneous, straight channel with a uniform flow conditions and lower
                habitat diversity.

          Floodplain loss is continued as a result of human interventions. Overall it is
           estimated that only 20% of Europe‟s floodplains remain functional (WWF,

          Climate change. Many flood events have been associated with unusually high
           precipitation. The Scottish Executive Environment Group produced a report
           reviewing the levels of protection offered by flood prevention schemes in
           relation to predicted climate change scenarios. The report states that any flood
           engineering works would need to be raised by between 5 cm and 18 cm if the
           same level of protection as provided in 1990 was to be re-established in 2050
           (Scottish Executive, 2003).

Causal Loop Diagram of Increasingly Severe Flooding

Figure 2 represents the complexity of some human and natural environment factors which
produce a negative impact on the ecosystems and increase in flooding. The diagram
summarises the current research and highlights several frequently misunderstood causes
and consequences of flooding. It is important to say that almost 70% of all flooding claims
are due to rivers overflow (Source: Scottish Water, 2003).

                                                                          climate change

                                      +                                                           Amount of Flooding Water
       changes in river-basin land-use               removal of
                                                  vegetation cover
                                      +                                                              Increased Amount of
                  agricultural                                                                          Overland Flow
                intensification                                       +
                                           +                                              +
                                                               simplification of
                   transport                                      landscape                                Run-Off
                 development               +                                          +
                     urban                 +                   increased rates of         +
                  development                                        flows                             Amount of River
                                                                                                           Flow                +
                                                               +                                                         +
                                       +                                                              Amount of Sewerage
                                                           +                                               Water
                       +                   +

                                                                   river regulation

                                                   +               flood protection
                                floodplain loss                         dykes

Figure 3 Causal Loop Diagram: Human Activities Impact on the Aquatic Systems

3.3    Classification of Tools for Flood Alleviation
Traditionally, floods have been managed by hard engineering measures, such as dykes.
Due to the increased frequency of severe floods, NGOs, governmental organisations,
professional bodies and other institutions have conducted extensive research on flood risk
and management during the past ten years. The current view suggests that the
consequences of flooding cannot be avoided. Taking into account climate changes and
human activities in river valleys, more sustainable approaches to investment in flood
management assets should be developed in order to build an adaptive capacity. These
measures are summarised in Figure 4:


                      Structural                                      Non-structural

          Intensive                               Emergency           Regulation                 Flood
                                                   Measures                                    Insurance

  Storage Facilities,               Delay of runoff,        Flood warning,          Land-use planning
  Introduction of parallel          Increase in             Flood fighting,         Redevelopment of
  watercourses, etc.                 infiltration, etc.       Evacuation, etc.        flood plain use, etc.

Figure 4 Classification of Measures for Flood-Damage Prevention Adapted from PROFETAS (Source:

      Non-structural measures strive to reduce flood impact without altering flood
characteristics. As such, they focus on regulations and policies, emergency plans and
flood-insurance. They require low capital investments (PROFETAS, 2002). These flood
management measures are based on the following principles (World Commission on
Dams, 1999):

             study of floods and flooding on a basin-wide scale, and, accordingly, further
              trans-basin co-operation;

             risk assessment, providing a better comprehension of risks.

To achieve these goals it is necessary to:

             take actions on a local, regional, national and transboundary scale;

             establish contributions from water management, master planning and urban
              development, nature protection, agriculture and forestry, public and private

Structural measures can be classified in two categories:

          Intensive measures are hard engineering traditional solutions, such as storage
           facilities. Protective works have a tendency to increase the development level in
           floodprone areas, as it is assumed that building and investing in protected areas
           is safe. However, the design eventually will be exceeded and catastrophic
           damages can result. Structural works require a periodic and systematic
           inspection, rehabilitation and maintenance programme in order to ensure the
           maintenance of the design capabilities. For example, levees may be weakened
           by erosion from a past flood event, by the actions of burrowing animals, or by
           the construction of utility lines through the levee.

          Extensive measures reduce flood generation potential. They may have their
           place in multipurpose projects with low environmental impact and even
           environmental benefits. In essence, this implies using the assistance of natural
           processes to mitigate flood consequences. These techniques include SUDs,
           rehabilitation of floodplains, etc. in order to manage the causes of flooding
           intensified by human activities.

It should be emphasised that successful flood mitigation schemes are likely to
include a mixture of various measures carefully selected to meet the water
management needs of a particular river bed and the entire catchment.

Case Study 1 (Source: WWF, 2004)
During the winter 1997, the worst-ever flooding from the Danube river was recorded in
Czech region of Moravia. Inundated areas were typically up to 5 km wide and up to 2.5
km deep. More than 90% of the Danube river is regulated. However, in lower Moravia,
a floodplain more than 100 million m3 wide was protected as it served as the “iron
curtain” border zone during the cold war. The floodplains were sufficient to protect
human life and property. Compared with the situation in upper lands of the Moravia,
Austria and Germany, the consequences of the Danube floods downstream were
minimal, with only a few houses flooded at the confluence of the Moravia and the

Case Study 2 (Source: Perth Flood Study, 1997)
Following the severe and extensive flooding which occurred in Perth in January 1993,
the Perth Flood Study was commissioned to examine the technical feasibility of
providing flood defenses. The research results showed that “The existing flood
embankment protecting the North Housing estate… was overtopped… and the breaches
formed at three separate locations. This resulted in widespread inundation of the North
Muirton Estate.”

3.4 Sustainable Flood Management and Current Legislative
In order to proceed with a sustainable approach to flood management it is necessary to
consider not only the areas directly affected by floods, but also the entire river basin. A
truly integrated river basin management will prevent the accumulation of separate peak
water flows coming together to “constitute” a “flood” at the sources of floods and attempt
to modify the way or rate in which rainfall is transformed into stream flows (DEFRA,
2003). The Integrated River Basin Management (IBRM) is recognised as the most
appropriate approach to delivering sustainable use of the world‟s limited freshwater
resources. Such actions also alleviate associated river basin issues, such as soil erosion and
poor water quality.

       IRBM provides a basin-wide approach to making strategic decisions about water
management (including flood management) that is economically, socially and
environmentally sustainable. “IBRM is the process of coordinating conservation,
management, development and use of water, land and related resources across sectors
within a given river basin, in order to maximise the economic and social benefits derived
from water resources in an equitable manner while maintaining, and, where necessary,
restoring freshwater ecosystems” (Global Water Partnership, 2000). It is enshrined in the
EU’s Water Framework Directive (Europa, 2000) and in the Water Environment and
Service Act in Scotland (HMSO, 2003).

3.4.1 The Water Framework Directive

In June 2000 the Framework Directive for Community Action in the Field of Water,
commonly known as Water Framework Directive (WFD), was agreed by the European
Parliament and Council (Europa, 2004). The Directive incorporates principles of
sustainable development into water management objectives. It recognises the equal
importance of ecological and human needs for water supply, introduces an integrated
approach for sustainable water management, and provides direct guidance for a holistic
approach to water management. WFD applies to all water in the natural environment, both
surface (including coastal) and underground. The following features mark this legislation
as a turning point in water resource management:

           Introduction of ecosystem objectives into the planning process;

           Adoption of a planning process within each river basin management district;

           Incorporation of quality and quantity objectives to ensure “non-deteriorating”
            status for both surface and underground water;

           Protection, enhancement and restoration of all water bodies, aiming to achieve
            good surface water status by 2015;

           Prevention or limitation of the input of pollutants to groundwater and reversion
            of any significant upward trend in the concentration of pollutants in

           Integration of water legislation into a coherent framework and establishment of
            common sustainable objectives for all current water uses, considering future
            legislative development and ecological thinking;

           Adoption of “adequate” cost recovery principles and incentive pricing, leading
            to the re-evaluation of water resources and sustainable practices for water use.

The Directive requires Member States to develop systems for managing their water
environments based on River Basin Management.

3.4.2 Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003

The Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003 (WEWS) is an
implementation of the WFD in Scotland (HMSO, 2003). But the WEWS Act went beyond
the requirements of the WFD and introduced additional environmental provisions for

           WEWS objectives will apply to up to 3 nautical miles from the Scottish
           The WEWS Act introduces specific requirements to identify and monitor
            pressures and impacts in wetlands.
           The Act requires Scottish Water to take responsibility for the ongoing
            maintenance of SUDS systems.
           The WEWS Act places specific duties on Scottish Ministers, SEPA and the
            responsible authorities, in order to:

            o     promote sustainable water use based on long-term protection of the
                  available water resources;

            o     promote sustainable flood management (Scottish Executive, 2004).

The general duties under WEWS Act also include:

      1.    The Scottish Ministers and SEPA must exercise their functions under the
            relevant enactments to secure compliance with the requirements of the

      2.    The responsible authorities must exercise their designated functions to secure
            compliance with the requirements of the Directive.

      3.    The Scottish Ministers, SEPA and the responsible authorities must:

            a)    have regard for the social and economic impact of those functions;
            b)    adopt an integrated approach by co-operating with each other;
            c)    have regard for the desirability of protecting the water environment.

      4.    The Scottish Ministers may give directions and guidance to:

            a)    SEPA, in relation to the exercise of its functions under the relevant
            b)    the responsible authorities, in relation to the exercise of their designated
      and SEPA and the responsible authorities must comply with any such directions and
      have regard for any such guidance (HMSO, 2003).

3.4.3 Flood Prevention and Land Drainage (Scotland) Act 1997
In March 1997, the introduction of the Flood Prevention and Land Drainage (Scotland)
Act 1997 determined the responsibilities and duties of the local authorities in Scotland
(HMSO, 1997). In respect of this Act the flooding referred to is the flooding of land, not
being agricultural land. This legislation amended the Flood Prevention (Scotland) Act 1961
and repealed sections of the Land Drainage (Scotland) Act 1930 and the Land Drainage
(Scotland) Act 1941 (HMSO, 1997). The Act imposes the following additional duties on
the local authorities:

      a)   Assessment of watercourses, from time to time for the purpose of ascertaining
           whether any such watercourse is in a condition likely to flood.

      b)   Maintenance of watercourses, which are in a condition likely to cause flooding,
           or where works would substantially reduce the likelihood of such flooding.

      c)   Notification to the local authorities outwith the area where it appears that any
           watercourse is in a condition likely to cause flooding.

      d)   Publishing of reports at two year intervals, detailing the measures taken or
           required to prevent or mitigate the flooding of land, and all occurrences of
           flooding of such land (HMSO, 1997).

3.5    Current Situation in Scotland
Scotland currently faces a turning point in the way in which land and water, including
floodplains, and hence flooding, are managed. A number of new complex drivers for a
strategic approach has recently appeared: increase of population in flood prone areas,
higher standards of living, intensive land use, urbanisation, climate change, etc. The
situation has been aggravated by the public lack of flood awareness.

      Practice in recent years has shown that hard engineering is not always a sustainable
option for asset investments. Also, the desire to introduce, restore, or prevent the
destruction of ecosystems has changed the nature of the evaluation of flood control
schemes. The recent adoption of the Water Framework Directive by the European Union
provides an unprecedented opportunity for a fresh approach to flood management, based
on a truly integrated river basin and coastal management. By working with nature, we can
protect people and property and achieve environmental enhancement.

4   Current Vision of Sustainable Flood Management in
4.1 Current Definition and Principles of Sustainable Flood
In Scotland flood management policy has been very reactive, e.g. flood defences were
constructed on the sites of where major river floods occurred before. So far, the Scottish
Executive has approved all projects submitted for consideration. Taking into account the
budget constraints and uncertainties due to climate change, the Scottish Executive seeks to
achieve sustainable and proactive approach to asset investments. Therefore, the Scottish
Government has recently set up a National Technical Advisory Group (NTAG) to produce
guidance on sustainable flood management, with input from bodies such as SEPA, the
local authorities, Scottish Water and the insurance industry amongst others.

The report produced by the Sustainable Flood Management Sub-Group for the meeting of
the National Technical Advisory Group on June 3rd 2004, drafted the following definition
of “sustainable flood management” (Scottish Executive, 2004):

      “To take a sustainable flood management approach Opinion of Stakeholder:
to protecting the community against adverse flood effects “Sustainable            flood
                                                          management sounds to be a
we must: "Take a long-term, [whole life] approach to normal way to do things.
provide the maximum possible social and economic While sustainability is a
                                                          buzzword, the principles of
resilience against [river and coastal] flooding by sustainable flood management
working with natural processes in a way [that protects are quite intuitive, and
                                                          accepted by policy-makers.”
and enhances the [water] environment] and which is
equitable and affordable for present and future generations.”

     The Sub-Group proposes the following set of principles for sustainable flood

     a) Sustainability should be one of the strategic aims when investigating flood risk
     management and should be considered in all stages of the flood management project
     appraisal process.

b) A long-term view of sustainability means taking account of climate change
impacts… allowing for future uncertainties and giving future generations
comparable opportunities for them to meet their own future, changing, needs.

c) Resources should be used efficiently and sustainable construction methods
should be promoted.

d) A whole-life view of the costs and benefits of the proposed approach to the
consideration of flood risk management options is essential.

e) Flood management options considered must include at least one which takes
an integrated -catchment, minimum engineering approach, even if there may be
seen to be regulatory or legal barriers to its implementation.

f) Seeking opportunities to further the conservation of biodiversity and for
economic regeneration should be key elements of sustainable flood management.

g) A critical step in the process of identifying [sustainable] options should be to
consider, … a „do-nothing‟ option and a „property abandonment/ floodproofing‟

h) The use of natural processes can improve both the resilience and sustainability of
defences. It can also be more cost-effective in some instances.

i) Each case will require its own assessment of the sustainability of the solution to
flood risk.

j) The whole process should be transparent and there should be a single source of
information which all stakeholders can access and learn from.

k) Systems should be developed to maximise people‟s power over their own lives.

l) Systems should not be overly bureaucratic and should allow for self-correcting
behaviour (Scottish Executive, 2004).

Case Study 3
Other view on Sustainable Flood Management: “Learning to Live with Rivers”, Institution of Civil
“Within river systems, flooding is the natural way for the system to discharge the water
arising from the occasional large rainfall event. There is no problem at all until man
decides to use some of the natural flood plain for his own use, and chooses to protect
against inundation. We then face the dilemma of protecting against a natural hazard for
the benefit of mankind that has chosen to live and work in flood plain areas. To many the
defense against flooding is the construction of engineering structures such as walls and
barriers to prevent floodwaters inundating those areas we have chosen to develop.
However attractive this may appear, total application of this solution with limited
resources is impractical, uneconomical and unsustainable.”

4.2       Summary of Key Stakeholders’ Opinions
The main bodies in decision-making for asset investments are the Scottish Executive and
the local councils. Local councils are responsible for the development of the flood defences
and the approval of property developments. But the Scottish Executive determines the
legislative arrangements and guidelines that constitute the decision-making framework for
all the authorities involved.

          Currently, engineers and planners at local level develop planning activities in
Scotland. Without specific guidelines on criteria for sustainable flood management, it is
not possible to achieve sustainable flood management in each of Scotland‟s 32 councils. A
more sustainable approach to reduce flood risk should include identification of the
processes by which flood events are generated within the catchment and then to employ
natural features to manage them. The interaction between the key stakeholders is
represented in Figure 1.

      On the Figure 1, the following signs are used:

                       Formal links and power, funding.

                       Business-like relations, consultations, etc.

                       Informal relations, lobbying, cooperation, etc.


Executive are accountable
to Scottish Ministers, who                                                                              Funding and guidlines     Statutory consultee on
are themselves                                                                                                                    flood risk
accountable to the Scottish
                                                                                                        Information on flood      Responsibility for
                                                                                                        risk and policy           Public Sewers
                                                              MINISTERS                                 implementation
Determining the legislation
and decision-making

Provision of grants for new
flood schemes,
development of legislation,                            SCOTTISH EXECUTIVE
policy and guidelines,
setting criteria for approval                    PLANNING           AIR, CLIMATE AND
of developments                                    UNIT             ENGINEERING UNIT

Consultation in policy

Approval of new property
                                                          LOCAL COUNCILS                                             WATER                             ENVIRONMENTAL
Projects submission for
property development and                           PLANNING               ROAD UNIT
compliance with                                      UNIT
requirements for
                                                                                                COMMUNITY/            INSURANCE
                                                                                                  PUBLIC              COMPANIES
Preparation of flood risk
assessment and design of        DEVELOPERS
flood defences

Legislative and Policy
                                                                •     Change/opposition to   Provision of
                                                                                             flood insurance
                                                                                                                     Advocacy and lobbying for
                                                                                                                     sustainability agenda,
                                                                      the proposed
Framework                                                             schemes                                        development of new projects

                                                                •     Responsibility for
                                                                      private watercourses

Figure 1 The Key Players Involved in Decision-Making and Policy-Planning in Asset Investments for Flood Management

Scottish Executive

The Scottish Executive is the devolved government for Scotland and is responsible for
most of the issues of day-to-day concern to the people of Scotland. Its main goal in
sustainable flood management is to protect people from flooding. In addition to the
responsibilities determined by the WEWS Act, the Scottish Executive has duties for policy
development related to river and coastal flooding (Scottish Executive, 2004).

     Regarding sustainable flood management, the main functions of the Scottish
Executive, as identified by the interviewees, are as follows:

          Encouraging planning authorities not to authorise new developments in flood
           risk areas;

          Consulting, approving and funding of confirmed flood prevention schemes
           promoted by the local authorities, by the provision of grants at a 50% rate. The
           other 50% is provided as an additional borrowing consent.

The applications for development of flood schemes are submitted directly to the Air,
Climate and Engineering Department. The applications for the development of new
properties reach the Scottish Executive only when there are objections and/or significant
flood risk for a new properties development. The planning processes for new developments
are shown in Figures 3 and 4.

     The most important evaluation criteria for new property and flood defences
development, as identified by interviewees, are as follows:

          SEPA advice on flood risk;

          Compliance with the National Policies and Guidelines;

          Report and view of local councils;

          Opinion of the Planning and Air, Climate and Engineering Departments of the
           Scottish Executive;

          Social and economic benefits of the proposed schemes.

Other important activities of the Scottish Executive are structured around principles
adapted as an executive statement of commitments to reduce the risks and impacts of
flooding (Executive Statement, 2004). These are the following:

          Raising awareness on flood risks, including assistance with the provision of
           indicative flood risk maps and a flood warning system;

          Revising national planning policy to insure avoidance of development in areas
           with high flood risk;

          Alleviation of flooding, including investment of £40 million over the next three
           years to reduce flood risk for 1850 properties and improvement of national
           guidance and administrative procedures for the promotion of new flood
           alleviation schemes;

          Provision of assistance to those who might be affected by flooding, thus
           encouraging the take-up of insurance and support to those affected by flooding.

     Despite current initiatives to achieve sustainable flood management, all stakeholders
have recognised that “sustainable development” are “just buzz words” for the Scottish
Executive. The interviewees from the Scottish Executive have very sceptical views on the
importance of sustainability agenda for the Scottish government. The Scottish Ministers
have to respond to increased public expectations towards sustainability, and the concepts
of sustainable development are not well accepted and recognised yet. However, external
interviewees have recognised that the Scottish Executive has started to take into account
the sustainability issues for current planning initiatives.

     The identified drivers for adapting the sustainability concept into the current agenda
are depicted in Figure 4.

                         Drivers                                                              Responses

   Public pressure towards                                                               Floodline Initiative for
   protection from flooding                                                                  flood warning

                  Funding of the confirmed flood
                prevention schemes by provision of
                        grants at 50% rate                                                 Discouragement of
                                                                                         developments on flood
                                           Limitations                                           plains
                                           of budget

                                                                                            Changes in legislation,
                                                         Scottish Government aiming to      e.g. WEWS Act 2003
               Public pressure                             achieve sustainable flood
            towards sustainability                                management

                                                                                          Establishment of NTAG to
                                     Climate changes                                      provide technical advice on
                                        uncertainty                                      sustainable flood management

Figure 2 Drivers and Responses for the Scottish Government in Planning for Sustainable Flooding

                                                                SEPA: Recommendations on
          Flooding                                                     Flood Risk

                              Pressure on
    Property on Flood
                                              Local Authorities:
                                                  scheme                                                  When all
                                                construction                                              objections are
                                                                                                          resolved the
                                                                                                          scheme is
                                                                               Scottish Executive         submitted to the
           Consultancy: flood                                                    informing on             Scottish
          assessment, scheme                                                       objections             Executive
                                                Resolution of

                Scheme                                                Scottish Ministers
               Advertising                                           consider objectives
                                         Objections from
                                        public for 3 moths

                              Scheme Approval by
                              Scottish Minister with
           Submission         or without               Tender and
           to Scottish        modification              choice of              Construction Process
            Executive         (potentially may          contractor
                              refuse to confirm)
                              and provision of grant
                              up to 50% of total

Figure 3 Planning Process for Approval of Flood Prevention Schemes

                                                                                     SEPA giving advice
    Developer proposing the                                                             on flood risk
           scheme                     Local Authorities consider
                                             the scheme

                                 Advertising the

                                                             Permission if
                                 Objections                  -no objections
                                                             -low flood risk                               Scheme
                                                             Scottish Ministers consider the

Figure 4 Planning Process for Approval of Property Development                                        Scheme Disapproval

Local Authorities

The main goal of the local authorities is to protect people from flooding. The local
authorities have wide discretionary powers to protect non-agricultural land under the Flood
Prevention and Land Drainage (Scotland) Act 1997. Councils are not limited to use their
powers within their own administrative area. However, cooperation amongst councils is
very inefficient and hampers flood management based on catchment approach. Councils
are also responsible for promotion of sustainable flood management. The main driver for
Local Councils to work on sustainable flood management is that “we work for Ministers,
and Ministers want us to work on flood risk.”

     The road and planning authorities of the local councils are units involved directly in
flood management. The planning authorities control new developments and assess the risk
of any such development in areas identified as being prone to flooding. The department has
a key role in implementing SUDS through the processing of planning applications. It
interacts closely with the Planning Department of the Scottish Executive. The road
authorities are responsible for drainage of the adopted roads in order to keep them
operational under the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984 (HMSO, 1990). As a result, the road
departments act as a body responsible for the development of flood defences.

     The communication between the road and planning departments is very inefficient: I
was advised to consider them as two separate organisations. Nevertheless, several
interviewees expressed that communication between the units is improving due to the need
to collaborate on the flood issues.

     Road authorities, water authorities and SEPA are all statutory consultees to the
planning process of local authorities under Planning Advice Note 69 (Scottish Executive,
2004). In addition, the decision-making process regarding both property development and
flood schemes always includes consultation with the Scottish Executive.

     All proposed flood prevention schemes have to comply with the national design
standards. All schemes are also required to be technically, environmentally, and
economically sound, sustainable, and to maintain the risk of flooding under 1% (annual
probability of occurrence) allowing for climate change.

     Also, the local authorities work together with the police and the fire and rescue
services in response to severe flooding. They also coordinate reception centres for people
evacuated from their homes and, if appropriate, arrange temporary accommodation and
manage the aftermath of floods (SEPA, 2003).

Scottish Environmental Protection Agency

Interviewees agreed that the statement "SEPA's main aim is to provide an efficient and
integrated with the environmental protection system for Scotland that will both improve
the environment and contribute to the Scottish Ministers' goal of sustainable development"
reflects the goal of the organisation in sustainable flood management (SEPA, 2004).

     SEPA was promoting an idea of sustainable flood management, as the organisation is
concerned environmental protection. Under the WEWS Act, SEPA has significant
responsibilities for sustainable flood management. The main goals of SEPA in sustainable
flood management are:

          Consultation on flood risk in order to raise people„s awareness on flood risk;
          Filling information gaps on flood risk to improve decision-making;
          Minimising the number of people living in areas prone to flood risk;
          Environmental enhancement.

SEPA is a central source of information on flood risk in Scotland. It is responsible for
flood warning and has discretionary powers to maintain flood warning system. It operates
Floodline, which is a 24-hour telephone information service, to provide up to date
information on flood alerts and practical advice on flood risk. In the case of flooding, the
police receive flood warnings from SEPA, and are responsible for coordinating the
agencies involved in rescue and evacuation within the immediate area of an incident
(SEPA, 2003).

     SEPA is a statutory consultee on flood risk to the local planning authorities. The
organisation “has provided hard copies to all local authorities (who have subsequently
purchased a license to use the electronic version) and provides access on a site-specific
basis upon request” (SEPA, 2004). SEPA also provides information in response to public
queries on flood risk areas and properties.

      However, flood risk information is not available for the whole territory of Scotland.
SEPA has powers and tools to collect the missing information, but the agency does not
have the responsibility for accumulating data on flood risk under the current legislation. In
addition, SEPA does not hold copyrights to disclose the available information for all
interested parties. Therefore, it does not encourage people to inquire due to unavailability
of data for the whole territory of Scotland. If the information is not available, SEPA
estimates the probability of flooding based on the closest sites.

      SEPA is referred to as one of the most important, knowledgeable and influential
agents in flood management. The Scottish Executive provided £1.6 million to SEPA for
the development of second-generation flood risk maps and to make them available on the
Internet. This project is developed in collaboration with the Environment Agency. The
maps will be available on the Internet in spring 2006. Several agents have pointed out that
SEPA has sufficient data and advanced digital tools to take a more proactive stance in
flood issues and to advise people and other agencies on flood risks. However, interviewees
said that the organisation has a very limited power as the current legislation restricts the
effectiveness of SEPA. For example, it does not have rights to publish available
information on flood risk for open access of all interested parties.

Scottish Water

Scottish Water is a publicly owned business which collects and treats waste water from
Scottish households businesses and industry. The organisation has the duty to provide
water supply and sewerage and to operate and maintain the main public water supply and
waste water network. The organisation is also responsible for drainage of lands, except
those adapted for roads (Scottish Executive, 2003).

      Scottish Water has announced £1.8 billion capital investment programme to
modernise the water industry. The investment programme consists of some 1500 projects
in order to:

              Deliver better quality drinking water;
              Improve the quality of waste water;
              Reduce the number of properties at risk of flooding (Scottish Water, 2004).

Scottish Water is concerned with asset management and performance in order to ensure
that the service they provide meets specific objectives. Therefore, Scottish Water is a
stakeholder in the AUDACIOUS project.

Case Study 4 (Source: AUDACIOUS, 2004)
AUDACIOUS (Adaptable Urban Drainage – Addressing Change in Intensity Occurrence
and Uncertainty of Stormwater) is an EPSRC funded project which aims at investigating
the key aspects of the climate change effects on existing drainage in urban areas and
provide tools for drainage managers and operators to adapt to uncertain future climate
change scenarios. AUDACIOUS will contribute to new science by developing tools that
     adequately model the processes that result in urban flooding, and
     allow appropriate risk based decisions to be made.

       Interviewees identified Scottish Water as an important stakeholder who has
significant knowledge on issues related to flood management, especially on the analysis of
flood causes and the improvement of the flood management infrastructure. However, while
stakeholders expressed their desire for Scottish Water to be involved in the preparation of
the scheme, they also said that currently cooperation is not sufficient.


The community groups have powers to change/oppose the proposed schemes regarding
both property and infrastructure development. Public involvement and education on flood
issues take place mainly during scheme advertising.

       The community groups of landowners, property owners and farmers are especially
important in sustainable flood management. Land and property owners are responsible for
the protection of their land and property from flooding, as well as for the maintenance and
operation of the watercourses passing through their land and property (Scottish Executive,
2004). Since local councils can only address flood risk to non-agricultural land, farmers are
important stakeholders that have to be involved in order to achieve the catchment approach
for water management.

Scottish Natural Heritage

The organisation‟s main goal in sustainable flood management is to protect and enhance
natural environment. It is also concerned with socio-economic impact of the proposed
flood management schemes for local communities. SNH participates in the consultation
processes of local councils during the preparation of flood alleviation schemes, and advise
on their environmentally impact.

Scottish Environment Link

Scottish Environment LINK is the forum for Scotland's voluntary environment
organisations. Currently, 36 member bodies belong to LINK, with the common goal of
contributing to a more environmentally sustainable society, such as WWF Scotland,
Friends of the Earth Scotland, etc. These organisations were acknowledged as the main
agents in the advocacy and lobbying for sustainability agenda, bringing it into
governmental legislation. They actively participate in policy consultation and project
assessment with local councils and the Scottish government. These organisations have
significant membership and funding, which allow them to initiate new projects aimed at
sustainable flood management, often in partnership with other organisations. LINK‟s core
activities are funded by membership subscriptions, grants and donations from Scottish
Natural Heritage, the Scottish Executive, and others (Scottish Environment LINK, 2004).

Case Study 5 (Source: Scottish Executive, 2004)
WWF Scotland has established a programme on sustainable flood management with
several components: (1) defining sustainable flood management; (2) working with the
local authorities of Clackmannanshire to produce a catchment-based decision-making
handbook for flood management and (3) establishing a sustainable flood management
demonstration site, based in Clackmannanshire. This entails a catchment approach to
measure flood problems, as well as the management of those problems by incorporating
natural features and soft engineering methods in areas further upstream.

       External stakeholders expressed that NGOs are mainly interested in environmental
and bio-diversity issues in flood management. Internal interviewees, however, said that
they are really interested in the development of local communities by the provision of new
social and economic opportunities, such as provision of new fishery zones as part of the
creation of new wetlands.


Road departments employ a consultancy for evaluation of the flood risk, design of flood
alleviation schemes and their advertising. The reason to employ a consultancy is the 50%
reimbursement of costs provided by the Scottish Executive grant. However, if the local
councils do this work themselves, the costs cannot be compensated.

       The knowledge and experience of the consultant is the most important factor in the
preparation of the flood management schemes. At the same time, the expertise of
consultancies is accumulated as a result of the previous experiences and the criteria
specified by the client (e.g. local councils). In general, the opinion of interviewees is that it
is possible for consultees to achieve sustainable solutions if the criteria are clearly stated
and the according policies are already in place.


Developers apply to local councils for the approval of new property constructions, and they
have to comply with the requirements devised by them. The Scottish Executive issued the
planning policies and guidelines for local councils in order to achieve more sustainable
asset investments. For example, Planning Advice Note PAN 61: Planning and Sustainable
Urban Drainage System recommends: “The developer should proceed to draw up a
drainage strategy which should be submitted as an integral part of the outline planning
application” (Scottish Executive, 2001).

Professional Bodies: Town Planning Institute, Institution of Civil
Engineers, DEFRA, etc.
These agencies are important players in the consultation process of policy making for the
Scottish Executive. They are represented on the NTAG board. They are also key players in
the formation of opinions around sustainable flood management. Such publications as
“Learning to Live with Rivers” (Institution of Civil Engineer, 2001) and “Foresight”
reports (Foresight, 2002) provide deep insights for sustainable flood management.

Insurance Companies

Insurance companies play a key role in sustainable flood management. By spreading risk
across policy-holders, insurance enables householders and businesses to minimise the

financial cost of damage from flooding (see Figure 5). Due to increase in losses from flood
events and uncertainties due to climate changes, the ABI worked closely with the
Government to agree on terms through which the industry could continue to provide cover
for the households. “The insurance industry has agreed to continue to provide flood cover
for the majority of households and businesses in the UK, but unsustainable increases in
flood risk could threaten this undertaking” (ABI, 2003).

Figure 5 Trend in total economic losses and insured losses ($ bn), adjusted to 2000 prices (Source: ABI,

        In 2003, ABI published its “Statement of Principles on The Provision of Flooding
Insurance” (ABI, 2003). Key considerations in the guidelines are flood risk and provision
and standards of flood defences. The indicative minimum standard for existing properties
is 1 in 75 years for urban areas. The level of flood defences for new developments should
be not less than 1 in 200 years, including allowance for climate change.

4.3     Conclusions
Within the last ten years, significant changes have taken place in the delivery of
government and local services in Scotland. This has seen the creation of the Scottish
Parliament, Scottish Executive, unitary councils, a single water authority, and the Scottish
Environment Protection Agency. All these bodies have a role in flooding and drainage
issues, but the existing legislation is old and was largely framed for previous arrangements.

        The general conclusion derived from all interviews is that the Scottish Executive
has influence and powers to change the characteristics of the system in order to achieve
sustainable flood management. The organisation has the responsibility and the most

significant opportunities to promote sustainable development and sustainable flood
management in Scotland.

       On the other hand, little attention has been paid to future changes in legislations
and applied responsibilities, such as SEPA‟s responsibility, and as a result its increased
power and influence from 2005 onwards, when the organisation will become a regulator
for the WFD implementation in Scotland. From that moment, all engineering schemes that
are constructed on the rivers will be assessed and licensed by SEPA. Also, new regulations
will be required from the Scottish Ministers to protect the water environment. Therefore, it
would be beneficial to consider these issues in order to achieve a proactive approach.

5         Barriers for Sustainable Flood Management
Identification of counterproductive arrangements for sustainable flood management is a
very important task for the system analysis. It allows introducing new, more efficient
patterns of behaviour. The interviewees provided me with a wide range of opinions
regarding pitfalls in the existing system.

          A methodical approach is required for the analysis and structuring of this
information in order to find the main system impediments. Therefore, the idea proposed by
N. Ashford regarding the fragmentation of the important factors, which leads to systematic
failures in sustainable development, was adapted. The main impediments identified in this
research are structured around the following topics: (a) fragmentation of knowledge, (b)
gerontocracy, (c) fragmentation of legislation and policies and (d) market imperfection.
Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) report provides additional insights for
the concerns of the local authorities (Scottish Executive, 2003).

5.1       Fragmentation of Legislation and Policies
Most of the interviewees expressed that their actions are governed strictly by the current
legislation. Given limited funding, stakeholders have to perform their duties first, which
means that projects beneficial for sustainability –but not vested in the domain of the core
responsibilities- are not normally supported. Therefore, it is important to summarise the
main legislation and policy issues. In general, the main impediment is the fragmentation of
the policy, decision-making and budgets across different sectors and authorities.

            The Water Environment and Water Services
                                                              Opinion of Stakeholder:
             (Scotland) Act 2003 is the biggest potential
                                                              “I am strongly disappointed
             change        towards     sustainable    water   that the Scottish Executive
             management. The Flood Prevention and Land        did not change the Flood
                                                              Prevention Act 1997,when
             Drainage (Scotland) Act 1997 is the main         the WEWS Act was
             legislative    document     regulating   flood   published.”
             management. However, due to the fact that they represent separate legislations
             and apply responsibilities to different authorities the implementation of WEWS
             Act and sustainable flood management are often considered separately, thus

    creating serious obstacles for the sustainable management of water resources in

   Most of the stakeholders recognised that the Flood Prevention and Land
    Drainage (Scotland) Act 1997 does not support sustainable flood management.
    The most relevant problems include:

    o    The frequency and assessment of watercourses are not specified, resulting
         in inconsistent maintenance action across councils in Scotland.
    o    The maintenance of watercourses does not include an option for
         increasing the capacity of sewerage pipes.
    o    A consultation process amongst important stakeholders is not required.
    o    Demolition of houses is not an option in current legislation.
   The process leading to the approval of a flood alleviation scheme is too long
    and bureaucratic. The act prohibits local authorities from carrying out any
    operations (even on their own land) other than maintenance and management
    operations. And the former should be done only in accordance with a flood
    mitigation scheme made by the authority and confirmed by the Scottish
   Landownership is a major impediment for sustainable flood management:
    o    Local    authorities     only   have     wide    Opinion of Stakeholder:
         discretionary powers to protect non-             “We have no framework for
         agricultural land. Since cooperation with        Scottish Water, local
                                                          authorities, landowners and
         farmers is not included in the legislation,      other stakeholders come
         it is not considered as a solution that          together with appropriate
                                                          strategy on catchments. The
         hampers a catchment approach.                    catchment approach and
    o    Landowners       are      responsible      for   sustainable strategy for
                                                          flood management are not
         maintaining watercourses located on their        present, and even are not
         land. However, they often do not provide         developing. There are no
                                                          barriers for Scottish
         a sufficient amount of maintenance work,         Executive to go for more
         which causes domestic flooding and               sustainable solutions, but it
                                                          is just easier for them to
         applies uncontrolled alternations to them.       come up with traditional
         Under    the   current    legislation,   local   solutions.”
         councils cannot compel landowners to support efficient maintenance or to

                 enter land to carry out repair works and to reimburse costs for these
            o    To develop a flood defence scheme –other than wall defences- local
                 councils have to buy land from other parties, e.g. landowners. Under these
                 conditions, it is more convenient to propose wall defences.

           Almost all stakeholders identified counterproductive interaction between the
            road and planning authorities of local councils. Planning departments were
            criticised for their ineffectiveness. They wanted to build infrastructure based
            exclusively on the socio-economic analysis. Since flood issues were vested with
            road engineers, they led to major disagreements between the two units. Since
            the publication of SPP-7, which requires to take flood risk into account for all
            new developments, communication between these departments improved.
            However, complete collaboration work has not yet been achieved.

           New holistic solutions for urban sewerage and drainage systems could be a
            major shift for sustainable flood management. Nevertheless, collaboration
            between the parties interested in these issues is inefficient. For example, SEPA
            is strongly interested in rivers deculverting and the creation of wetlands. The
            organisation is not involved in the proposal and development of these solutions.

5.2       Fragmentation of Knowledge
During the last 10 years –mainly due to the increased legislative pressure- experience on
sustainable practices has been accumulated between the stakeholders. Understanding of the
sustainable practices differs significantly between them. Successful practices are not
always shared and knowledge is frequently dispersed. As a result, there is a range of
misconceptions on sustainable flood management, as well as about the activities of
different agents. Also, current international views and trends on sustainable flood
management are seldom incorporated into policy-making.

           Understanding flood risks over the catchment scale as well as the access to this
            information was identified as the most important factor for flood management.
            Currently, the access and availability of the complete information on flood risk
            requires significant improvements. In addition, information on land drainage,

           especially for agricultural land, is not available for the evaluation of the flood
           impact on the catchment scale.

Figure 6 Floodplains layer for CB3 9JJ postcode in Cambridge (Source: Environment Agency, 2004)

          The establishment of NTAG by the Scottish Executive was recognised as a
           significant shift in bringing all the parties and knowledge together. But their
           work was considered to be very slow and not moving towards the catchment
           approach. Also, at the Scottish Executive‟s request, local councils established
           flood appraisal groups in order to exchange practical guidance and information
           on flood risk, as well as its implications for the development. However, the
           initiative was recognised as highly inefficient, as its objectives were not

          The increased amount and complexity of the environmental legislation puts
           serious pressure on the authorities. It is quite difficult to read through the new
           legislation, prioritise the most important aspects, and incorporate them into
           decision making. Therefore, new directives aimed at sustainability are not
           consolidated successfully for the current decision-making.

   The communities expect the government to assure their total safety in the event
    of flooding. Education on flood issues takes place only during the advertising
    stage of the flood prevention schemes. There is not enough work on raising the
    awareness of communities in order to accept the flooding and be prepared for it.

   NGOs are identified as agents possessing significant knowledge on
    sustainability. But consultation with NGOs in order to identify what is useful
    and important for a specific project is very difficult, as their views, opinions
    and interests differ significantly.

   There is a significant difference on how agents perceive each other. For
    example:                                            Opinion of Stakeholder:
                                                        Several stakeholders told me
    o     “Environmentalists”                perceive   that sometimes only hard
          “engineers” as technocratic decision          engineering measures can
                                                        mitigate flood impacts. One
          makers, unwilling to adopt sustainable        of the Scottish flood defence
          solutions, who should be involved into        projects was presented as an
          the planning process only at the final        But the stakeholder who was
          stage.                                        actually engaged into the
                                                        development of the scheme
                                                        said that the solution would
    o     “Engineers” see “environmentalists” as        have been different if
          frequently      unrealistic     and     too   the current agenda,
                                                        legislation and experience on
          constrained    by     the     environmental   environmentally-friendly
          agenda. On the other hand, they believe       approaches to flood
                                                        management had existed at
          that their activity is important and
                                                        that time.”
          collaboration should be sought. They
          were blamed, however, for their unawareness of all sustainable practices
          accomplished by engineers.

   Local Councils do not have enough expertise on flood issues after the
    reformation of the water bodies in 1996, but have to propose flood alleviation
    schemes. Local councils are eager to incorporate more sustainable solutions.
    However, currently lack of guidance and understanding on sustainability criteria
    is the main characteristic of the decision-making in local councils.

   Climate change is a very difficult problem for planning.

             o    Data on climate change is not enough for planning purposes and new
                  design standards.

             o    Sea level is changing irregularly around the coasts, thus increasing –in an
                  uneven manner- flood risk from rivers and sewers.

5.3       Gerontocracy
“A gerontocracy is a form of oligarchical rule in which
                                                                Opinion of Stakeholder:
….the oldest holds the most power” (Wikipedia, 2004). In
                                                                “The major problem is that
this report the term also has a meaning of governing by         we still have people with a
                                                                traditional mindset both
old ideas.
                                                                within professional and
                                                                public groups. The solutions
      People with significant power leverage, supported         for flood protection are still
by their official status, are key figures in the planning and   seen as building walls for
                                                                flood protection.”
decision-making process. Their views shape the current
agenda. I have noticed that stakeholders are especially careful in expressing their opinions
regarding the actions and responsibilities of agencies where these individuals can be
identified. The personal experience of decision-makers is the most influential factor in
planning for sustainable flood management.

            Most responsibilities and issues of the agenda begin and end at Scottish

            Engineers expect to have precise solutions, clear specifications: “We do not like
             grey areas; we want to be clear on what has to be done.” Precise hard
             engineering measures are often viewed as more sustainable, as they create
             perceptions of the necessary level of flood protection.

            Some    stakeholders     demonstrated    awareness,       genuine   interest,   and
             accountability of their actions regarding sustainable flood management. They
             have enough powers to initiate changes towards sustainability. These
             stakeholders think that the pitfalls of the current system cannot impede
             sustainability agenda. At the same time, they recognised that if they leave their
             organisations, the movement towards more sustainable flood management
             would probably stop.

           The current structure and organisation of the Scottish Executive and the local
            councils does not support sustainable flood management. A better cooperation
            between different departments is necessary. For example, the involvement of
            the Agricultural Division and the Forestry Commission was indicated as an
            incremental measure to initiate sustainable policies for agricultural practices
            and flood management.

5.4       Market Imperfections
The market is not able to provide all the necessary adjustments to achieve sustainability.
As social justice, healthy ecosystems and other important criteria of sustainable
development do not have well-calculated monetary value, market instruments are not
always beneficial for sustainable development. However, current policies create major
market impediments for sustainable flood management.

           The costs of traditional flood measures are not paid by beneficiaries. The
            government funding for construction of flood defences is a subsidy for the costs
            of property owners and developers.

           The geographic externalities are not included into the construction
            considerations for flood defences: locally, costs are limited, but the benefits are
            great, at the same time downstream costs are great, but benefits are limited.

           Some stakeholders have pointed out that the release of information on flood risk
            can have a negative social impact, as the price of some properties will go down
            significantly, whereas insurance premiums
                                                               Opinion of Stakeholder:
            will rise. This short-term vision creates “moral   “Construction insurance
                                                               cannot be used to improve
            hazards”, e.g. people with good behaviour pay
                                                               the sustainability of property
            for the people with bad behaviour. For             locations. The probability of
                                                               flood loss during the short
            example, if the flood risk is 1 in 500 years and
                                                               construction period (1-2
            the property has been flooded recently, then       years) is very low; as such,
                                                               this sort of insurance will not
            insurance costs become higher.
                                                               affect the policies of
                                                               insurance companies. And it
           Insurance   cover    is   one    of   the   most
                                                               is not businesses’
            complicated issues, and an important loop in       responsibility to make
                                                               judgements on social
            the system. Currently, premiums reflect the
            flood risks faced by the customers, but the

            difference is not always substantial. Larger differences can be found in excess
            value. In a situation where flood risk information is not readily available, the
            insurance companies make a retrospective analysis of the flood events for the
            corresponding property, which is not always beneficial.

           The difference between the flood protection standards for the new properties
            recommended by the Scottish government –1:100 years- and adopted by the
            insurance companies –1:200 years- creates unsustainable long-term approach
            for property insurance in Scotland.

           Finance is an overriding factor –especially for councils- where money is tightly
            controlled. The only way to construct flood alleviation schemes is to borrow
            money from the government. But if flooding issues are not the main agenda for
            the Scottish Executive, local councils will not be funded appropriately. As a
            result, important flood prevention work is not being undertaken or being funded
            from the roads budgets. In addition, no funding arrangements are provided for
            the drainage damage.

           Return periods of 100 years for Cost-Benefit Analysis limit sustainable
            solutions for flood management:

            o    More sustainable solutions can often be achieved for smaller water
                 management projects with smaller return periods; however, they are
                 seldom funded.

            o    Flood protection schemes have a longer term impact on the territory rather
                 than on a property located on it. Therefore, some sustainable solutions can
                 be achieved only with longer return periods.

           Short-funding resource cycles in organisations, based on one-year and three-
            year periods of accountancy, are not beneficial for sustainable flood
            management. Planning has to look at issues under a 100 year perspective.

5.5       Summary of Main Findings
Current policy-making is regarded to as a piecemeal approach. Criteria, guidelines and
cooperation between the stakeholders are not well defined. The prevailing view is that the
government should address the problem of conflicting signals and incentives, including
agricultural sector, holistic approach to water management, etc.

       During my research I discovered that the combination of the factors involved is far
more complicated than I expected. Some of the issues are related to people‟s cognitive
models and to personal characteristics rather than to an inefficient system structure or lack
of knowledge.

6   System Analysis and Proposition of Leverage
The overall task of the system modelling is to understand the source of the policy
resistance and to design more effective policies. Its fundamental principle states that the
structure of the system gives rise to its behavior. Therefore, system modelling helps to
establish where and how is necessary to change the drivers to avoid fragmentation of the
policy and decision-making. Interviews and research provided me with understanding of
the current problems and decision-making process for flood management in Scotland. The
current planning processes and the development of the infrastructure are represented in
Figure 6.

                                          demolition of

     construction                                                                                          construction
                                         property                                                            of flood                demolition of flood
     of property                                                                                                                         defences
                    Property on Natural acquisition   Value of Property on   flooding      Damage to        defences       Flood
                        Flood Plain                   Natural Flood Plain               Flooded Property                  Defences
         A                                   B                                  C-                            D

                                                                                                    increase in funding for
                                                                                                     construction of flood
                                                                                                        defences (1994)
Figure 7 Stock-Flow Diagram of Property and Flood Defences Development

              The approach is very reactive and increases capital investments significantly due to
both property and flood defences construction. It is also self-reinforcing. To have
significant, sustained, beneficial changes on the performance of this system, the high

    How to read this diagram: This diagram presents relationships between the four major socks identified in
the system. Stocks can be measured in monetary terms and are influenced by the flows. The increase in flow
of property construction leads to the accumulation of stock of the Property on Natural Flood Plains. The
market Value of Constructed Property is determined through the process of property acquisition. The
speed and volume of flooding cause Damage to Flooded Property and decrease the Value of Property.
Flood defences construction leads to accumulation of Flood Defences stock. Up to this point, a linear chain
of cause and effect has persisted. However, the chain forms a closed loop, as constructed Flood Defenses
increase property construction in the protected area as well as the Value of Property protected. Also,
Flood Defenses decrease potential Damage to Flooded Property. Flow of property demolition decrease
the stock of Property on Natural Flood Plain. Further in the research existing loops in the system are
shown with blue colour, while existing or proposed correction loops in the system are red.

leverage points have to be identified to redesign the system and the governing policy.
Exploration and proposition of the corrective loops are structured around four main flows,
marked on Figure 7 as follows:

           A. Planning and construction of property
           B. Acquisition of property
           C. Flooding of property
           D. Planning and construction of flood defences

6.1        Stage A. Planning and Construction of Property

       proposals for                                                                      construction
       development                                       approval                         of property
                            Proposals Submitted for                  Approved Proposals                     Property on the
                            Property Development                      to Build Property                    Natural Flood Plain
                                                                                               A                                 B
                                 -                                   -
           -                 -           -floodplain
                                         regulations                                                     building codes
                        -                                      +                                    +
                                                                  control of floodplain development
 people awareness                      -site selection         +
                                           -zoning                     +

                                         Information on
                                           Flood Risk

Figure 8 Stock-Flow Diagram and Proposed Corrective Feedback Loops

Leverage Measure: “control of floodplain development”

Floodplain development regulations control the human use of flood plains and inundation-
prone lands. They can significantly reduce flood damage to existing development and
prevent the amount of damage from rising in the future. The objectives of such control
measures are to:

              reduce future potential for flood damage and loss of life;
              determine and describe acceptable or compatible land uses within the
               designated floodplain,
              increase public and institutional awareness of risks associated with flooding.

Techniques associated with this measure tend to be less costly in capital expenditures but
more so in terms of human commitment (social capital) (World Commission on Dams,
2003). They include:

           development policies,
           floodplain regulations,
           development zoning and land use by-laws based on delineation of the flood-
            prone area,
           flood-proofing (World Commission on Dams, 2003 and UNISDR, 2003).

The most desirable approach is to prohibit new development in the flood plain and to
replace the existing development by alternative usage of the land. However, due to other
economic factors, such as valuable amount of developed infrastructure, it is substantial to
consider the alternate strategies such as flood proofing and protection.

         Flood proofing regulations specify which structures may be built in flood-prone
areas, and how they can be constructed or modified to withstand floods up to a certain
frequency, without sustaining substantial damage. The latter can include rising of
structures to prevent damage, relocation of utilities, changed building use, installation of
protective walls and waterproof closures, and use of materials that are not damaged by
water and can be easily cleaned after the flood event. Flood proofing is very heavily
dependent on the public participation and low capital inputs from either the public or
private sector. Therefore, it can help shift costs of developments to beneficiaries, thus
achieving social equity. Improvement grants for the property owners –scaled to the level of
risk- can also be provided to facilitate the improvement in flood resistance. However,
CIRIA recommends avoiding the reliance on these measures wherever possible (CIRIA,

         Control of floodplain development is implemented by the government agencies and
general public. Based on the effective planning for the locations of new developments, it
should take into account their upstream and downstream impacts. To be successful, the
control of floodplain development requires collective social commitment and proactive
cooperation between all stakeholders to optimise the potential for damage mitigation in the
flood plains (UNISDR, 2003).

        Flood risk maps are essential tools for land use planning in flood-prone areas.
 These maps combine hydrological, geomorphologic, hydraulic, and land use information
 related to floods, and serve for assessing flood damages and the feasibility of non-
 structural control measures.

 Figure 9 Flood Proofed Dwelling (Source: UNISDR, 2003)

Case Study 6
To discourage development on the flood plains, the Planning Department of the Scottish
Executive set up National Scottish Planning Policy – 7 (SPP-7), issued on 6 February 2004.
The policy does not have an obligatory power, but is recognised as a key improvement for
sustainable flood management.

The document was prepared in the consultation process with interested stakeholders, which
insured the success of the policy. After the first version of SPP-7 was released, the Planning
Department received further feedback and comments, leading to further policy revision. The
final version of the document was published with more precise guidelines on flood risk.

The publication of SPP-7 facilitated more proactive approach for the approval of new
developments at local councils. Recommendations of SPP-7 are included into the development
plans. As one of the representatives of local councils said: “The planning process has improved
dramatically…we do not build anything on the floodplains”. In addition, more holistic
approach towards planning process is facilitated: potential impacts downstream are assessed for
the new developments. Flood risk assessment began to be requested for planning permission.

6.2       Stage B. Acquisition of Property

      construction of                          property
         property                             acquisition                          flooding
                         Property on the                    Value of Property on
                        Natural Flood Plain                 Natural Flood Plain
             A                                    B                                  C

                                                            insurance cover

                              Available Information         +         -
                                 on Flood Risk

Figure 10 Stock-Flow Diagram and Proposed Corrective Feedback Loops

Leverage Measure: “insurance cover sensitivity”

One of the most effective instruments to mitigate flood issues is property insurance (see
Figure 10). The principal objective of flood insurance is to spread the costs of flood
damages so that the society involved can manage those costs. This involves spreading the
costs both in terms of time and population.

          Flood insurance differs from the other tools for
                                                                              Opinion of Stakeholder:
managing flood losses: whilst other tools reduce the cost of
                                                                              “Construction insurance
the flood damage from each flood, insurance distributes the                   cannot be used to improve
                                                                              the sustainability of
losses over time and space. The losses covered by flood
                                                                              property locations. The
insurance are paid from the accumulated premiums of                           probability of flood loss
                                                                              during the short
policyholders rather than from disaster assistance funds. It,
                                                                              construction period (1-2
thus, has elements related both to Planning Measures and to                   years) is very low; as
                                                                              such, this sort of
Response Measures (UNESCAP, 2001).
                                                                              insurance will not affect
                                                                              the policies of insurance
          In Scotland, funding of the provision of flood                      companies. And it is not
insurance and the cost of flood losses is distributed between                 businesses’ responsibility
                                                                              to make judgements on
those at risk and those who never suffer from direct flood                    social equity.”

      The insurance cover can serve as an effective instrument in Scotland. It is a standard
feature of insurance package, which is required for a property mortgage. As a result, more
than 80% of Scotland‟s population has flood insurance. While this strategy is referred as
self-sustaining over a long term, there are certain important considerations (World
Commission on Dams, 2003):

              Currently, the information required to define the degree of risk is not sufficient
               and not available. Therefore, methods used to determine premiums have a
               retrospective character, which does not always reflect an actual risk.
              Those outside the flood-liable area pay for those at risk. But this subsidy the
               costs of occupying flood-liable land, which distorts land-use decisions and
               encourages inappropriate investment.

For insurance schemes to be successful, there has to be a clear definition of risk, as
premiums should reflect the degree of risk at a given location. Flood insurances have just
started to react to a difference in flood risk, especially in terms of changes of excess value.

6.3       Stage C. Flooding of Property

                          demolition of
                            property               ?           -
                                                                        Amount of
                                                                     Flooding Water
 construction of                           property                                                                construction of
    property          Property on         acquisition                           flooding                           flood defences
                                                         Value of Property on                      Damage to
                   Natural Flood Plain                   Natural Flood Plain                    Flooded Property
       A                                       B                                C           -                            D
                                                          people awareness          -
                                                           and cooperation
                      Information on
                                                         flood emergency
                        Flood Risk         +
                                                        response planning   +
                                                         +                              -
                                                   preparedness of local

Figure 11 Stock-Flow Diagram and Proposed Corrective Feedback Loops

Leverage Measure: appropriate “flood emergency response planning”

Emergency response measures are applied to minimise flood impact when a damaging
flood is forecast, imminent or underway. Studies have shown that damage reduction due to

forecast improvements can range from a few percentage points to as much as 35% of
average annual flood damages (UNISDR, 2003). These include the following measures.

          Flood emergency response planning is based on the following principles:

           o    appropriate organisation;
           o    roles and responsibilities clearly defined;
           o    appropriate information management, including media management;
           o    periodic exercise and revising preparedness plans;
           o    availability of resources inventory.

          Flood fighting is the action undertaken during floods to prevent damage and
           failure of flood control structures, as well as to divert floods from sensitive
           areas. Full support of the potentially endangered society, including the highest
           administrative and legal instances, is necessary for the success. The most
           important features of flood fighting measures are preparedness of all potentially
           involved persons; availability of technical means and resources; support of
           respective authorities; and co-operation of the public.

          Flood warning is usually the responsibility of the authorities who also can
           implement associated collective measures –analysed and planned in advance- to
           reduce potential flood damages. The flood warning and measures to be taken
           must be based on very precise quantitative data.

          Evacuation aims at saving human and animal lives and to reduce losses in
           goods and property. Evacuation can take place before, during and after the
           flood, depending upon the circumstances (UNISDR, 2003).

However, the success of such measures depends on people’s response, their
awareness and preparedness, the measures taken to protect the houses, and
cooperation with authorities during flood events (e.g. police, fire brigade, etc). It mainly
depends on the accurate level of risk perception. Public education and open access to
the information on flood risk and mitigation measures is an important leverage point for

       In Scotland, emergency response, planning and management rest with local
governments. The initial local community response is recognised as the fastest emergency
response (UNISDR, 2003).

                                                                    Opinion of Stakeholder:
       SEPA is responsible for flood warning and forecast, and
                                                                    “Currently SEPA has a
a central source of information for emergency response              problem with defining
measures. The establishment of roles and responsibilities is        roles and responsibilities
                                                                    of the agents involved in
generally regarded as the most difficult task, a relevant matter    cases of flood emergency.
for SEPA.                                                           In particular, there is
                                                                    uncertainty about (1) who
                                                                    should be informed first
Flooding                                                            and (2) responsibilities
                                                                    for flood fighting.”
For a clear representation of system models, the assumption that
flood management starts with a naturally managed floodplain was made. However,
currently, 85% of flood plains in the UK are destroyed by physical modification, usually
straightening or deepening, with channels often disconnected from their floodplains (A
biodiversity Strategy for England, 2002). Therefore, the need for flood management can be
regarded as a response to land-use pressures.

       Changes towards sustainable flood management should be implemented in order
restore natural processes within the soil structure and vegetative canopy. Generally, the
objective is to increase storage and make the rate of run-off and flood peaks lower and
longer, a feature that is usually beneficial to flood mitigation. The possible measures will
be different for different land uses, i.e. urban and rural flood management. Figure 12
represents the system analysis of the possible corrective loop.


                                                                                    +                                            +

                                                                                                                               retention structures

                                                                 drainage impact                         climate change

                                                                      +                                                            Amount of Flooding Water
                                                                                      removal of
                                                                                                                -                                                         -
                                                                                   vegetation cover
                                                                       +                                                               Increased Amount of
                                               agricultural                                                                               Overland Flow
                                             intensification                                          +
                                                                           +                                               +
                                                                                                simplification of                                                -
                                                  transport                                        landscape                                  Run-Off
                                                development                +                                           +
                            -                                                                   +
                                                    urban                                       increased rates of                                           +
                                                                           +                                               +
                                                 development                                          flows                              Amount of River
                                                                                                                                             Flow                +
                                                                                                +                                                          +
           agricultural policy                                                                                         +
                                                                      +                                                                Amount of Sewerage
                                                                                            +                                               Water
                                                                                                    river regulation

                     deculverting of        -                                       +               flood protection
                         rivers                                floodplain loss                           dykes

                                 rehabilitation of
                                   flood plains

Figure 12 Causal-Loop Diagram of Flood Causes and Proposed Measures

Leverage Measure: “sustainable urban drainage systems”

The biggest damage from flooding occurs at urban areas due to the high density of
population and developed infrastructure. Also, there is a risk to public health due to
possible sewerage flooding. Therefore, protection of urban areas is an important priority
for the national flood strategy.

       To prevent flooding, built-up areas need to be drained in order to remove surface
water. Traditionally, this has been done by using underground pipe systems designed for
quantity, conveying the water away as quickly as possible. However, increasing evidence
of the limited capacity of pipes causing urban flooding led to the reconsideration of
possible drainage solutions. Also, water quality issues and impacts on terrestrial and
aquatic environments have become increasingly important, due to the pollutants from the
urban areas being washed into rivers or the groundwater. Continuing to drain built up areas
with limited objectives and ignoring wider issues is not a sustainable option.

            In 1997, Sustainable Urban Drainage (SUDs) systems were introduced in Scotland
(Scottish Water, 2003). These solutions use the assistance of natural processes to replace
positive piped drainage systems in order to meet all the considerations mentioned above.
Systems were introduced primarily as a means of reducing watercourse pollution, but they
also attenuate discharge into the receiving watercourse and thereby reduce the peak flood

The general principles of SUDs as follow (CIRIA, 2004):

              Deal with run-off locally, returning the water to the natural drainage system as
               near to the source as possible;

              Maintain run-off rates from developments at pre-development levels;

              Minimise the risk of pollution to controlled waters;

              Protect water resources from point pollution and diffuse pollution.

SUDS are used in conjunction with good management of the site in order to prevent
flooding and to provide varying degrees of treatment for surface water. The natural
processes of sedimentation, filtration, adsorption, and biological degradation are employed

        There are four general methods of control (for more information, visit CIRIA and
DEFRA websites):

              Prevention, which includes minimising runoff (e.g. minimising paved and
               connected areas) and good housekeeping (e.g. education on proper disposal of
               contaminants, etc).

              Filter strips and swales mimic natural drainage patterns by allowing rainwater
               to run through vegetation, slowing and filtering the flow. Their integration into
               the surrounding landscape can produce visual interest, provide a wildlife habitat
               and decrease erosion on slopes.

          Permeable surface and filter drains are devices that have a volume of
           permeable material below ground to store surface water. The permeable fill
           traps sediment, thereby cleaning up runoff.

          Infiltration devices work by enhancing the natural capacity of the ground to
           store and drain water. Runoff is treated through physical filtration, absorption,
           and biochemical reactions.

          Basins and ponds are areas for storage of surface runoff. These structures
           include flood plains, detention basins, flood storage reservoirs, wetlands, etc.
           They can be designed to manage water quantity and quality, provide wildlife
           habitat and improve landscape.

Deculverting of rivers is also a sustainable option for urban drainage as it leads to
restoration of flood plains and wetlands. The diagrams of SUDs are presented in Appendix

Case Study 7
Local Council’s Policy on SUDs
Engineering works to eliminate local flooding problems may inadvertently cause flooding
upstream or downstream, unless the requirements of the whole catchment are taken into
account. Therefore, drainage impact assessments for the catchment should be carried out
before construction of new properties:
“The Council is committed to the concept of sustainable development and one of its many
challenges is to find sustainable methods for servicing new development. … Scottish
Planning Policy (SPP) 7 „planning and flooding‟ recognises SUDs as the main method of
dealing with surface water in an environmentally friendly and economic manner. … The
Council will require that developers include drainage measures in new development
proposals which have a neutral or better effect on the risk of flooding both on and off site.
The Council will consult Scottish Water, SEPA and the Council‟s flooding/drainage team
on the appropriate planning applications. However, it is recommended that applications as
part of the information in support of a planning application show that the drainage is
acceptable to Scottish Water, SEPA and the Council‟s flooding / drainage team.
The Council will require that SUDs are considered in the development proposals at the
earliest stage in the project design, prior to a formal planning application in order to
determine its applicability. … New proposals should, whenever possible, incorporate
measures to open existing culverts to the satisfaction of Council. The Council will
encourage developers to submit Drainage Impact Assessment (DIA) along with Sustainable
Drainage Assessment and Sustainable Drainage Schemes as a part of a new development

     Many of the existing urban drainage systems involve combined sewers with storm
water overflows. Surcharge from these systems often contributes to flooding during flood
events. Flooding involving sewers can take various forms:

           Events due to surface water flooding, for example from rivers or blocked water
           Events of flooding from sewers due to inadequate capacity usually during storm
            events. These events may arise because of increased volumes of sewage from
            new developments or from increased run-off from hard surfaces or highways.
           Flooding from sewers caused by operational failures, usually blockages but
            sometimes sewer collapses or pumping station failures.

A high priority is given to the application of more effort to the removal of surface water
from sewerage systems and extending the applications of SUDS wherever possible to
decrease run-off. An attempt to achieve higher flood protection standards for sewers
should be implemented only after this.

         Scottish Water has a statutory responsibility for the provision and management of
the public sewers system to ensure that their area is effectually drained. Private sewers are
owned by, and the responsibility for maintenance rests with the owner of the property
drained by the sewer. Sewerage companies are unable to restrict connections to the pubic
sewer even where the system is likely to become overloaded.

Case Study 8
Glasgow Strategic Drainage Plan Stage 1 (Source: Hyder Consulting Limited, 2004)
In July 2002 the City of Glasgow suffered severe flooding due to rainfall, estimated as 1 in
100 year storm event. Hyder Consulting was appointed as Lead Consultant and undertook
masterplanning of the sewerage and drainage infrastructure through Glasgow Strategic
Drainage Plan. The key objectives are as follows:
 Flood risk reduction;
 Removal of the development constraints: deficiencies with the drainage infrastructure
    hamper economic development;
 Water quality improvement: many of Glasgow‟s open channels were culverted which lead
    to the water quality deterioration.
 Habitat improvement;
 Integrated investment planning.
Solution consists of the mixture of hard and soft engineering measures. It incorporates SUDs,
including attenuation ponds, deculverting of buried watercourses, leading to considerable
reductions in predicted flooding approximately up to 30%.

Leverage Measure: “sustainable rural land management”

Traditional rural land management placed considerable pressure on soil/water
management. Since the greatest land mass is used for agriculture, these activities have a
very significant influence on surface water run-off within most catchments, and therefore
on flooding. The impact of rural land use management on catchment flood response is
closely intertwined with wider issues of the rural economy. To reduce flooding
fundamental changes to current agricultural practices are required. These measures also
produce secondary benefits in terms of environmental, economic and social improvements.
Catchment flood management plans lie in the centre of sustainable land management.
       However, there is general uncertainty on the impact of agricultural practices on the
catchment scale. Also, there is lack of knowledge on how small-scale practices combine at
larger scale. Currently, DEFRA with support of the Environment Agency and the Forestry
Commission launched researches to study and model all flood management interests in
rural land management (DEFRA, 2003).

       Flood plain rehabilitation and creation of wetlands fit into the range of land
management changes in rural areas. Floodplains are areas through which watercourses run
and over which floodwater naturally extends. Floodplains provide natural reservoir space
for floodwaters – but only if the floodplains are not dyked up and artificially disconnected
from the river channel. Wetlands are areas where the water table is either seasonally or
permanently high. Wetlands receive floodwaters then release the water back again much
more slowly often recharging underground aquifers as well, thus, reducing flood peaks and
acting as natural “sponges”. They naturally occur in river valleys where drainage is
impeded either by topography or soil structure and they can be entirely natural or man-
made. Wetlands may be used for agriculture, forestry or amenity (DEFRA, 2003).

       Ecological flood control works with nature in order to enhance soil conservation
and increase natural water retention capacities, using the ability of wetlands and
floodplains to alleviate flood impacts in a number of ways. The examples listed below
highlight the ways in which wetlands influenced the recent floods.

     For many years, the agricultural industry has been encouraged to increase the amount
of land under productive cultivation. This must be reversed in order to achieve sustainable
long-term solutions. The following practical actions should be encouraged (DEFRA,

          Incorporation of land management and agricultural policy: e.g. subsidise
           farmers for flooding,

          Grant aiding for the creation of reservoirs and ponds on farms, both for added
           value to the farmers and to alleviate potential flooding risk,

          The creation, regeneration and maintenance of hedgerows and other forms of
           drainage-delay schemes,

          Turning cropland back into forests,

          Hanging farming practices, such as not allowing Case Study 9 (Source:
                                                             RSPB, 2003)
           the farming practices that are likely to increase
                                                             The EU Common
           rapid run-off, such as the increased growing of Agricultural Policy (CAP)
                                                             moves away from
           maize as a forage crop,
                                                             increased production
                                                             towards subsidising
          To redirect subsidy payment away from the environmentally aware
           number of cattle held on a farm, as this leads regimes, including flood
                                                             minimisation schemes on
           directly to overstocking, to a subsequent decline their land.
           in the rural environment and to a greater tendency
           to increased water run-off.

Case Study 10 (Source: DEFRA, 2004)
In Scotland, the most important trends in land cover since 1950 are:
 Intensification in agricultural land use to maximise yields and produce cheap food. In
    arable areas, East Lothian for example, field sizes have increased and field trees and
    hedges have declined.
 Rapid expansion of coniferous plantations (406% since 1940 mainly in the uplands)
    with some diversification in species planted in recent years.
 Broadleaf forests recently promoted throughout Scotland (locally recreating former
    floodplain forests).
 Peri-urban landscape of new housing and business parks around many towns and
    cities replacing agricultural land-cover classes.

Case Study 11
Drava River (Source: WWF, 2001)
The Drava is one of Austria‟s largest rivers. Increasing pressure from agriculture and housing
let to the regulation of the Drava river. This led to enormous losses and degradation of the
natural freshwater habitats, including alluvial forests, oxbows and natural river stretches. On
the long run, the channelling also caused a deepening of the riverbed by 2 cm per year and an
increased flow velocity, which caused a lowering of the groundwater level. The deterioration
of the natural flood retention capacity also enhanced the flood risk for the whole area.
Because of the above mentioned problems, the Water Management Authority and WWF
Austria developed a LIFE project to work on a 57 km-long section of the Drava river in
Carinthia. Co-financed by the EU, the project budget was worth 6.3 million Euros. The
emphasis was laid on restoring 3 ecological “core zones“ that make up 7 km of the river by
widening the river bed and by the reconnection of former side-arms to improve the overall
ecological value the river stretch. An additional focus lies on the recreation of the natural
floodplain forests. Situation after restoration
• Better flood prevention: On 200 hectares natural flood retention capacity improved by 10
million cubic meters;
• Reduced flow velocity: The speed of the flood wave slowed down by more than one hour.
• More space: natural alpine river and floodplain habitats with their typical species increased
in 50-70 ha (Danube Salmon, Common Sandpiper, Kingfisher...);
• Stoppage of river bed deepening and even rise of river bed;
•The population of some species of fish has doubled.

Figure 13 (Source, WWF, 2001)

Case Study 12
Elbe’s River (Source: WWF, 2001)
The Elbe river‟s 80 % of all natural floodplains are cut off from the river behind dykes.
More than 1,300 km of dykes are situated alongside the main river channel itself. One
third of its total catchment is in the Czech Republic, composed of the Elbe/Labe and the
Moldava, with the latter contributing more than 60 % of the mean flow. There are 7 major
dams in the Moldava river, forming a closed chain upstream of Praha. On the Elbe/Labe
river the damming effect is low and almost no flood protection dykes are built. In August
2002, 90 % of the flood volume came from the Moldava catchment, where dams make up
a total reservoir volume of about 3 billion cubic meters. This proportionately high outflow
resulted from the management of these dams being optimised for (peak) hydropower
production with limited retention capacity. Their retention volume was already filled up by
the first severe rainfall in the Bohemian mountains but not released on time. Flood
damages from August 2002 are said to be around 22 billion Euro, many times higher than
any large flood action programme that has been ever planned.

       Actions to increase natural storage capacities are often only appropriate in lowland,
downstream areas. However, controlling rapid run-off from smaller tributaries upstream is
in fact the first point in a sensible, integrated, flood management strategy. Stopping
deforestation   and introducing      a more holistic catchment        planning    –including
environmentally appropriate agriculture and the use of buffer zoning and strips- utilises
soil retention capacities upstream to prevent floods at the source. In fact, a combination of
actions to increase retention capacities in upland areas, and storage capacities in lowland
areas, is Integrated River Basin Management (WWF, 2001). The net result is that strategies
which include wetland restoration and conservation tend to be much cheaper and self-
sustainable than traditional, harder, capital and infrastructure-intensive engineering
solutions (WWF, 2001).
       The projects listed below showed that the “theory” of river restoration as a strategy
to improve flood protection is effective. Also, they proved that this ecological approach is
sustainable and cheaper. “Old fashioned” river-engineering measures like channelisation or
flood protection with dykes cause huge long-term problems, like river bed deepening and
loss of natural flood retention capacity.

Case Study 13
Oslavica River (Source: WWF, 2001)
The Olsavica river basin is located in Eastern Slovakia and encompasses a total area of 11
km2. The traditional agriculture developed in this region was based on the use of
extensive pastures and mosaic of small strips of arable fields and meadows with many
terraces. The collectivisation period resulted in the removal of terraces, extensive drainage
and integration of arable soil into large blocks. In the early 90‟s and in 2001, severe flood
damage occurred in Olsavica village due to heavy rain and very high soil erosion. Arable
soil was located in the flat upper part of the valley with the village at the bottom. The
Olsavica basin was included as a pilot area into the project “Central European Grasslands
– Conservation and Sustainable Use”, financed by the World Bank/GEF and implemented
by DAPHNE – Institute of Applied Ecology. The project included a detailed mapping of
the landscape structure, intensive stakeholder involvement, current situation analysis,
amongst others. As a result of all analyses a proposal to change land use in the upper part
of the valley and create 80-m wide strips of grasslands combined with strips of arable soil
was made. Following from this proposal, one third of the area of arable soil should have
been transformed into grassland, leading to a decrease from 3 to 5 times of annual soil
loss. A hydrological model was used to evaluate proposed changes in land use: the
possible increase of retention capability of the Olsavica increased from 10- years to 40
years return period of flood wave. The proposal for change of land use was endorsed by
key institutions for water management, agriculture and nature conservation, and it has
helped to achieve agreements with the cooperative farm which operates in the area. The
implementation of the restoration plan started in spring 2003.

Figure 14 Comparison of current and post-restoration flood peaks in the Olsavica catchment

6.4       Stage D. Planning and Construction of Flood Defences

                            construction of              demolition of flood
                            traditional flood
                               defences                     defences
                sustainability criteria
                 for flood schemes

Figure 15 Stock-Flow Diagram and Proposed Corrective Feedback Loops

Leverage Measure: “sustainability criteria for flood schemes”

The purpose of traditional flood solutions is to reduce flood levels by increasing the speed
of water running through an area or by creating barriers to retain it. The focus here is on
the reliability, performance and management of flood schemes. At this stage, sustainability
criteria are a very important corrective loop. The criteria should take into account
environmental, social and economic concerns, as well future allowance for the climate
change. Therefore, careful multi criteria assessment of the possible flood options should
take place before the scheme approval. Some of the traditional flood alleviation schemes
are discussed below (World Commission on Dams, 2000).

           Improvement of river channels should consider the following factors:

            o    Improvements for removing local bends and clearing the flood plain of
                 obstacles and bushes are necessary.

            o    Other measures like lowering the flood plain or deepening and/or
                 widening the river channel are either costly or have to be repeated
                 periodically (dredging). Moreover, the result (degree of flood control) is
                 often marginal. Also, in the tidal zone, the increased conveyance capacity
                 will increase the inflow of the tidal waves and wind set-up caused by
                 storm surges. Thus, its effect on flood control in the coastal zone would be

         Creation of additional flood ways to convey flood flows across a floodplain,
          in a route additional to the natural channel, may take flood flows away from a
          built up area. Built as natural channels with their designed capacity retained by
          management, they can offer considerable opportunities for environmental

         Flood embankments are also called levees, sea walls, sea defenses or dikes.
          Embankments along rivers or around specific flood-prone areas –like towns-
          are part of what is called impoldering. They increase conveyance capacity and
          flow velocities. These measures require continuous periodic inspection and
          maintenance. One of the most difficult decisions for the embankment is the rate
          of the river meandering. Works preventing rivers from meandering can only
          seldom be economically justified for rural areas, so the meandering of the river
          and the realignment of the levees have to be accepted. Assuming the
          embankment is structurally sound, it is mainly the height of the crest which
          determines the risk of overtopping. Therefore, allowance on climate change
          should be calculated, for when design thresholds are exceeded, an unexpected
          failure can result in a high material damage.

         Dams also may fail and result in huge losses in life and significant material
          damages. They also cause significant negative environmental impacts. Other
          disadvantages of dams are discussed throughout the text.

Case Study 14
Rharb River (Source: World Commission on Dams, 1999)
In the Rharb plain in Morocco, all possible reservoir sites identified in the upper reaches of
the Ouerrha-Sebou river system, were scrutinised for the flood control purposes. For each
reservoir, the size ( i.e. the height of the dam) was varied, and its hydraulic effectiveness in
preventing flooding in the Rharb plain was calculated. The average effectiveness is 40%.
An interesting feature is the interdependence of the reservoirs as far as flood control is
concerned. The hydraulic effectiveness of Rhafsaii is 36 %, and of Bab Ouender 43 %, but
–if operating together- they have an effectiveness of 55 to 60 % and not 79 %, as would be

6.5    Summary of Proposed Measures
Figure 16 shows the developed stock-flow diagram with all the corrective loops discussed
in this research. A lot of loops for sustainable flood management depend on the availability
and access to the information on flood risk. The flood risk information is the main factor
for the insurance sector, the control of floodplain development, etc.

       Table 2 shows the assessment of all proposed leverage measures for flood
management against sustainability criteria. Some criteria, marked with star (*) sings, are
proposed by Professor Charles Ainger as performance indicators for flood management in
his paper”Measurement Indicators” for NTAG (Scottish Executive, 2004). Other criteria
are developed through this research as necessary conditions for sustainable flood
management. During the assessment, an assumption has been made that the information on
flood risk is complete and available for all the parties involved. The sign system used in
the table consists of the following:

++ - direct benefits,

+ - some added value,

0 – no impact,

- - some negative influence,

- - direct negative impacts.


                                  +                                                        rehabilitation of
                                                                          SUDS                                     agricultural policy
                                             proposals for                                   floodplains
     drainage impact                         development
       assessment                                                                                                         -
                              Proposals Submitted for
        +                     Property Development
                          -                                  demolition of
                                             approval                                                          Amount of
     Available                                                 property
  Information on                                                                                             Flooding Water
    Flood Risk
                              Approved Proposals                                                                                    +
                               to Build Property
                                                              -       -                             -
                                                                                                                                                             construction of
                                                                          property acquisition                                flooding                       traditional flood              demolition of flood
                              -                                                                                                                                                                 defences
                                                        Property on Natural                       Value of Property on                      Damage to                             Flood
             +                    construction of          Flood Plain                            Natural Flood Plain                    Flooded Property                        Defences
                                     property                                          B                                        C
                                                                                                                                -                                      D
                                                                                                                                                                   -                          -
                                              A                   -
                                                                                                                      -              +
                                                           building codes          -                                                                                               -
                   control of flood plain                   +                                                                             +                      +                            sustainability criteria
                 development: e.g. SPP-7                                                                                                                                                       for flood defences
                                                                          +        sensitivity of         flood emergency response                           increase in funding for
                                                                                 insurance cover            planning: e.g. Floodline                     construction of flood defences   +
                          +                                                                                         (1999)                       -               (around 1994)
                                                    +                                                                                +
                         +                                                                                                    people awareness           preparedness of local
                                                                                   awareness of                                and cooperation                community

Figure 16 Stock-Flow Diagram with Corrective Loops

Table 2 Evaluation of Proposed Measures against Sustainability Criteria

                                                            Control of          Insurance      Flood Emergency                     Sustainable         Construction of
                        Criteria                            Floodplain            cover           Response             SUDs         Rural Land        Traditional Flood
                                                           Development          sensitivity        Flooding                        Management            Defences
              Meet maximum social need*                          ++                 ++                  ++              ++3             ++                     +
       Provide comparable outcome for all parties                ++                 ++                  ++              ++3             +                      --
               Stakeholder involvement*                          ++                  +                  ++               +              ++                     0
     Share of information, expertise and equivalent
                     access for all
                                                                 ++                 ++                  ++                +             ++                     --
               Affordable whole-life cost*                       ++                 ++                   -               ++             ++                     --
                Justice ("polluter pays")*                       ++                 ++                  +4               --5            --6                   --6
    Minimum environmental impacts (costs/benefits)*               +6                 0                   0               ++             ++                     --
                                                                                                                      (benefits)     (benefits)

                 Justice (bio-diversity)*                         +7                 0                   0               ++             ++                     --
                                                                                                                      (benefits)     (benefits)
                                                                        Future and Uncertainty
Economic, social and environmental justice between
                                                                  0                  0                   0               ++             ++                     --
                Adaptive capability                              +                  ++                   +               ++             ++                     --
               Optimisation of the whole                         ++                 ++                   +               ++             ++                     --

  The assumption is made that the strategy is planned and managed properly.
  The human‟s need to live in healthy ecosystem is also a part of the criteria.
  The governmental aid for those who were consciously neglecting the guidelines for the flood preparation, but were damaged by flooding will create serious impediments for
sustainable flood management as: a) the intention to pay higher costs for flood insurance to alleviate flood impact will go down and b) “polluter pays” principle will be
  These measures are accomplished by local councils and water bodies in collaboration with the Scottish Executive using money of the taxpayers.
  The assumption is made that the option of the space provision for rivers‟ flooding is preferred to flood proofing.

7    Conclusions and Summary of the Proposed Strategy
The original objectives of this research were developed in the following manner:

            Key players and their interaction were identified in Chapter 4.

            Successful practices and system failures in flood management were summarised in
             Chapters 4, 5 and 6.

            System behaviour was recorded in the „language‟ of system modeling in Chapter

            Existing feedback loops and an examination of the corrective actions required to
             facilitate sustainable flood management were presented in Chapter 6.

The last objective of this research was to consider how the links between different
institutional settings might be adapted for sustainable flood management. This chapter
allocates the proposed corrective actions in order to avoid the system failures presented in
Chapter 5.
Principles of Sustainable Flood Management
Actors, processes and policy tools constitute the governance process. Governance determines
the following aspects of the flood management:

            flood management delivery;

            society organisation and its capacity to adapt to change;

            distribution of costs and benefits within society.

This indicates that governance must be at the centre of responses and propositions if
sustainable flood management is to be delivered. This legislation should be made on the state
level, so no uncertainties arise about the stakeholders‟ responsibilities (FORESIGHT, 2004).

         Institutional and governance frameworks are changing constantly. However, several
key principles were identified during this research for successful policy design:

Shifts in perception: Sustainable flood management require shifts in our thinking, e.g. about
property rights, which are hampering catchment approach for some of the land-use flood
management measures. These will continue to arise, and need careful management.

Sustainability and robustness of implementation: Measures which score well on
sustainability criteria, such as land-use planning, should be considered as a high priority. To
prevent irreversible adverse consequences of some options, responses allowing incremental
enhancements for the whole system should be favoured. This is a precautionary approach to
the increase in flood risk.

Scale of governance, e.g. the scale at which any policy responses are implemented. For
effective flood-risk management, the spatial reach of the governance tools and portfolio of
responses must match the problems addressed. National co-ordination also needs to be
matched to local needs.

Timescale of implementation of different flood management options differ significantly in
terms of their time and ease of implementation, as well as the duration of their effectiveness.
Rapidly implemented responses will still be considered. However, the measures with time
delays in delivering the benefits but with cumulative or long-term effectiveness should be
promoted first. Acting now will mean that responses will meet the increased flood risk in the
future. For example, the mitigation of climate change has little potential to reduce flood risk
now. These measures can bring significant benefits at the end of this century.

Adaptability: The design of a portfolio of responses needs to consider how a particular
response will become more or less effective with on-going changes. The key here is to ensure
adaptability. Closing-off options have to be avoided as these decisions lock later generations
into certain policy paths.

Integration: Flood management involves most sections of government, such as agriculture,
the water industry, and many others. Consequently, adequate vertical coordination between
governance systems operating at differential spatial levels is necessary. It is especially
relevant to catchment approach for flood management. This may facilitate the
implementation of a policy portfolio or show conflicts and pitfalls that hamper sustainable

Participation: Stakeholder participation is a necessary condition for sustainable flood
management. However, there is an issue about the balance of effective strategic control with
local participation. Education and consensus-building may countervail, but this could be

Governance options: It is necessary to investigate which governance structures provide the
most effective means of delivering and financing sustainable flood management. Direct costs
associated with most response measures are significant, raising several issues for financial
governance. Several conventional options are available for raising funds for state-led action
on flood risk. Taxation raises funds for the state at regional or national level. Local taxes
could be raised directly in areas that need flood management measures. Alternative funding
mechanisms are levies, typically on activities that may contribute to flood risk, development
levies, carbon taxes, and so on, or subscriptions for the use of flood reduction measures,
analogous to road tolls. An option is compensation for indirect or individual losses incurred
in flood-prevention measures for social gain, for instance, where individuals relinquish
property as part of a strategic flood-management plan.

       The practical measures for current institutional structures to facilitate more proactive
approach are shown in Table 3.

Table 3 Measures Proposed for Current Institutional Structures for Sustainable Flood Management 7

                         Support an integrated land management strategy:
                          o   Incorporate agricultural policy for sustainable land and flood
                          o   Facilitate the catchment approach for flood management by
                              supporting and funding experimental projects on for analysis of
                              land use management impacts and exploration of interactions
                              between governmental policy, planning and management;
                          o   Facilitate the further use of SUDs in cooperation with Scottish
                          o   Provide guidelines detailing the policy implications of different
                              types of flood mitigation measures and a decision-making support
                              manual to guide policy makers on sustainable, multifunctional flood
                              risk management;
                          o   Legitimise current successful practices, e.g. to unify the planning
                              process for new developments by incorporating drainage impact
                              assessments and SUDs as a part of the developer’s application.
                         System–based policy development to achieve a sustainable
                          long-term approach:
                          o   Examine current and emerging policies and initiatives to enable the
     Scottish                 development cross sector, multifunctional policies, e.g. Common
    Executive                 Agriculture Policy can help to address flood issues;
                          o   Promote stakeholder involvement to                  enhance     positive    and
                              progressive flood prevention measures;
                          o   Give funding priority to projects which score well on sustainability
                              criteria, including adaptability, the precautionary approach and
                              cross-sectional benefits;
                          o   Cooperate with other departments to find the best possible solution
                              with a coordinated and forward-looking approach, e.g. minimising
                              the future impacts of climate change on flooding by taking
                              measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions;
                          o   Refine current approaches and policies by making use of
                              developing knowledge;
                          o   Organise the central source of knowledge for sustainable flood
                              management (SEPA’s knowledge and responsibilities will allow the
                              organisation to perform this function).
                         Maximise public understanding and participation in risk
                          o Cooperate with other institutions, local municipalities, media and
                              the education sector to inform and educate about risk,
                              responsibilities, and current issues of sustainable flood
                         Provide flood risk information and facilitate its use, e.g.
                          through the provision of flood risk maps.

 The proposition of the actions was based on the research findings and Foresight‟s “Future Flooding” project

              Initiate land management projects at the catchment scale, explore
               implications of work and feedback findings to SEPA (if acting as a
               central source of information);
              Adapt a proactive approach to new developments, e.g. incorporation of
               SUDs development as a part of the planning applications where
 Local         necessary;
Councils      Provide education on flood emergency plans to community as well as
               raising public awareness about flood issues;
 Local        Cooperate with other institutions and communities to achieve the best
Councils       possible solutions for flood management with multiple objectives being

           If SEPA acts as a central source of information, the organisation should:
              Inform on options and help to develop a strategic approach for
               sustainable rural management and restoration of floodplains;
              Use accumulated knowledge to inform broader strategy and policy
              Promote multifunctional mitigation of negative impacts of human
               activities, such as greenhouse gas emissions, at national and local
              Present and consider findings at the regional level (for both flood and
               integrated environmental management) including potential for more
               detailed assessment or communication to address local conditions;
              Increase public awareness by campaign on flood risk management;
              Participate in planning at different governance levels to promote
               sustainable solutions;
              Review and adjust an emergency plan with well-defined roles for all
               agencies involved.

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Glasgow Strategic Drainage Plan Stage 1 2004. Hyder Consulting Limited. Provided by
Glasgow City Council.

Scottish Planning Policy (SPP) 7 Planning and Flooding 2004. Scottish Executive.
Retrieved: August 19, 2004, from: <

Floods Causes, Effects and Risk Assessment 2002. PartnerRe. Retrieved: August 19, 2004,
from: <>

                         Appendix 1. Diagrams of SUDs

Figure 17. Filter Strips and Swales (Source: CIRIA, 2001)

Figure 18. Permeable Surface and Filter Drains (Source: CIRIA, 2001)

Figure 19. Infiltration Devises (Source: CIRIA, 2001)

Figure 20. Basins and Ponds (Source: CIRIA, 2001)


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