Flooding and Drought Avoidance must be linked, says UKRHA
Terry Nash, the Director of the UK Rainwater Harvesting Association (UKRHA) this year wrote an open letter to the Prime Minister providing an outline for a plan to tackle both flooding and drought as one issue.
Following the hugely disruptive flooding of this winter, Government announced its plans to deal with the environmental and economic effects with a £540 million recovery package, but the UKRHA has urged David Cameron to take into consideration the obvious links between flooding and drought.
The UKRHA mentioned the drought of 2012 combined with the more recent flooding to support the earlier predictions of The Environment Agency in its 2010 publication “Water for People and the Environment”, which argued that winter flooding and summer droughts were to increase in regularity.
The argument that drought management and flood avoidance are simply two sides of the same coin seems obvious, but current policies do not reflect this. UKRHA is urging government to incorporate plans to cope with drought into its new flood avoidance strategies, and points out worries about the future of water management in the UK as funding delays and Housing Standards reviews are undertaken. With the scrapping of the Code for Sustainable Homes, it is unclear what Government’s water management policies will become.
How rainwater harvesting can help
Rainwater Harvesting can be of use in two ways: by collecting water as opposed to allowing it to run off over the land, flooding can be prevented. The collection of rainwater will also benefit us in times of drought as the stored water can be used to keep crops alive until wetter weather returns.
Domestic rainwater harvesting is ideal for use by individual households, but larger systems could be put in place to cover local areas, larger districts, and even greater regions of the country.