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Climate change flood risk

Published: 23 Dec 2015 09:53

Environment Minister welcomes flooding aid following publication of flood mapping report.

Climate change is likely to aggravate the frequency and severity of flooding in Scotland, according to a new Scottish Government report.

Mapping Flood Disadvantage in Scotland 2015 suggests that urgent action is needed to address the risks to highly vulnerable communities exposed to flooding, and recommends that local authorities work closely with third sector organisations to increase the self-help potential of the communities, facilitate development of social networks and provide support in the case of flooding.

The report's findings have been welcomed by Environment Minister Dr Aileen McLeod, who confirmed that the Scottish Government's draft budget for 2016-17 maintains provision for funding flood protection schemes.

Dr McLeod said:

"Climate change is happening now. Extreme weather is having an impact in Scotland and across Europe and the world – as some communities have already experienced to devastating effect this winter.

"This report highlights that the changing climate is increasing the risk of flooding for a number of Scottish communities. Identifying and understanding why some neighbourhoods are more flood disadvantaged than others is essential to help us plan and target the right support to communities at flood risk.

"These findings will be used by a variety of organisations - from local authorities to community resilience groups - to raise awareness of flood risks and decide how to act.

"The importance the Scottish Government attaches to this issue is demonstrated by our continued support for funding for flood schemes, and the additional £4 million for the local authorities worst hit by Storm Desmond and flooding earlier this year."

Notes to editors

Investigation into the flood hazard-exposure index confirms that flooding is a substantial risk in Scotland. Neighbourhood exposure to flooding varies between and within local authorities, depending upon the source of flooding (river, coastal, surface water). The scale of flood disadvantage suggests that urgent action is needed to address the risks to highly vulnerable communities exposed to flooding.

The local authorities involved in the case studies envisaged that the results will support cross-departmental working, identifying priority areas for emergency services, and communicating flood risk issues to local communities. Using local knowledge is important to supplement the maps developed using national-level datasets, to progress understanding of flood disadvantage.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney announced in the Scottish Draft Budget 2016-17 an additional £3.94m for the local authority areas affected most by recent flooding in Hawick, Newcastleton, Dumfries, Alyth and other localities to help with recovery and to help households and businesses access the support they need. Of this, Scottish Border Council will receive £1.94m as it suffered the most severe impacts from Storm Desmond, while Perth and Kinross will receive £1.2m in recognition of the impact both of Storm Desmond and the extensive scale of the significant damage suffered in Alyth earlier this year, Dumfries and Galloway will receive £700k, with Stirling Council receiving £60k and South Lanarkshire Council £40k.

The full report can be found here: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2015/12/9621

The research findings can be found here: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2015/12/1746