Hampshire County Council's responsibilities for managing flooding
By way of its various plans and the Local Flood Risk Management Strategy, Hampshire County Council is responsible for managing the risk of future flooding from:
- Groundwater which is caused when heavy or prolonged rainfall makes the groundwater table rise above its normal level;
- Surface Water (rainfall) runoff, which flows from, or over, surfaces such as roads, roofs and patios that cannot easily absorb water; and
- Ordinary Watercourses, which are smaller, non-main rivers and water bodies, including rivers, streams, ditches, drains, cuts, culverts, dikes, and sluices.
The County Council has powers to carry out works to manage groundwater and surface water flood risk, and to oversee the management of flood risk from ordinary watercourses by the owners of the land through which the water flows.
The Flood & Water Management Act 2010 places a number of new duties on the County Council in its new role as a Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA).
These duties include:
- a duty to prepare a Local Flood Risk Management Strategy (LFRMS)
- a duty to investigate significant flood incidents
- a duty to establish and maintain a register of structures that affect flood risk
- a power to designate third party assets or features that affect flood risk and give notice to owners that they have been so designated
- a new role for LLFAs as SuDS (Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems) Approval Body (SAB) and, along with that, a requirement to approve, adopt and maintain SuDS
There are also new consenting powers over works to ordinary water courses, as referenced above.
Hampshire County Council can additionally undertake scrutiny activity to ensure flood risk management is appropriately exercised throughout the county.
In order to co-ordinate the flood risk management activity across Hampshire County Council and other flood risk management authorities and oversee the delivery of actions identified in the Strategic Flood Risk Strategy for Hampshre, a Strategic Flood & Water Management Group has been established comprising representatives from across the county council and a range of other flood risk management organisations.
Beyond it's new responsibilities as a Lead Local Flood Authority, the County Council also has separate responsibilities to manage flood risk as a Highway Authority as well as to assist the emergency services in responding to major flooding events as an Emergency Planning Authority.