The risk of flooding is an important issue across Hampshire with parts of the coastline low-lying with many towns and villages located near rivers. These areas are vulnerable to flooding both from the sea, and also from rivers following heavy rainfall.
Due to climate change, the risk of flooding may increase as sea levels rise, winter rainfall increases and flash storms become more frequent. This means more people are likely to be at risk more often. Flood protection measures are in place in many areas across the county and the threat from flooding can be reduced through the management of land and river systems.
The impact of floods can also be managed through better land use planning, as well as making properties and infrastructure more flood resilient. However the risk of flooding cannot be completely eliminated, nor can flood damage be entirely prevented.
The areas of land near rivers or the coast where flooding is likely to be a risk in the short or long term are identified by the Environment Agency on Indicative Floodplain Maps. Even if you are not directly at risk from flooding from rivers or the sea, you could still be affected by floods from other sources.
If you live at the bottom of a hill or valley, or in an area below sea level you could also be at risk from surface water or groundwater flooding (caused by excess water in areas with a high water table or waterlogged ground). In times of excessive rain even those properties on hills can be affected by rainwater running off from hard surfaces or from overloaded drains.
To find out more about your responsibilities to prevent local flooding please see the Environment Agency's publication Living On The Edge