22 comments on “Well, it should

  1. I’m not sure if my memory is playing tricks with me but when large tracts of Somerset flooded a few years ago, it turned out that a policy not to dredge rivers and water courses was responsible for the accumulation of water in the region.

    Chris Smith was the boss at the Environment Agency in charge of this change in policy which (and this is the bit I’m not sure of) was downstream of some EU environment directive so preserve habitats for newts or some such. This was reasonable because people don’t vote for the EU any more than newts do.

  2. Jizz plans to increase my car costs by 60% over the next ten years.

    Marxism is the method the globo elite want to use to bring chaos and death. The Globs bag is techno-feudalism –at that will be their offer–escape the chaos and death by accepting your status as a new serf.

    Seems Jizz is onboard with the plan.

  3. Apparently, decades ago when it rained exactly as much as it rains now it could take a week for water to flow into rivers. Now the water hits the rivers almost instantly due to some changes in the agricultural landscape – there are no hedges, ditches, natural obstacles, what have you.

  4. “Apparently, decades ago when it rained exactly as much as it rains now it could take a week for water to flow into rivers. Now the water hits the rivers almost instantly due to some changes in the agricultural landscape – there are no hedges, ditches, natural obstacles, what have you.”

    The changes in the agricultural landscape are the one that have been imposed on it by the Environment Agency, namely that all drainage is now seen as an environmental evil and only to be undertaken in extreme circumstances. So the land is now largely undrained, in that the ditches and rivers are now longer allowed to be kept clear and dredged, on pain of prosecution by the EA.

    Now the big brains in the university educated State apparatus thus concluded that because they have slowed down the flow of water out of agricultural land that this will allow the land to act as a sponge and reduce the amount of water in the rivers, thus preventing flooding. What they forgot was that a sponge only acts as a sponge when its dry and has capacity to absorb water. Once its reached its capacity any more water poured onto it just flows straight off.

    So now we have reached a position (entirely created by the powers that be) that means that water tables are higher than they used to be at all times, because the drainage system is purposely screwed up. Thus a relatively small amount of rain is sufficient to make the land entirely waterlogged, and because the drainage is screwed it takes ages for the water to flow out again afterwards. Thus if you receive an extreme rainfall event in a period of above average rainfall there WILL now be floods, every time. This is what has happened each time in the last 20 years that serious flooding has occurred – there has been a wet period of extended rainfall, which then includes a short period of extreme rainfall, which falls onto saturated land and runs straight off into the rivers, which then flood.

    If you wish agricultural land to act as a sponge you have to keep it as dry as possible at all times, so that the potential sponge effect is always at its maximum. This means keeping all drainage in tip top condition at all times, to remove as much water from the land as possible as soon as you can in normal conditions (which the rivers can cope with) thus meaning that there is far more buffering effect available for extreme events.

    But this of course would require those employed with the EA to do some actual work, dredging rivers, clearing vegetation etc, rather than sitting in nice warm offices and driving around in fancy 4x4s. Everyone who has any contact with the EA knows it is one of the most feather bedded organisations going – their work gangs achieve in weeks what a private operator would do in days. If you ever want to buy good value plant and equipment go to one of the sales of ex-EA plant and machinery, its hardly been used. They of course are selling it to buy new stuff, got to have the shiny new stuff, the £2bn+ annual budget must be spent!

  5. @Jim – was I dreaming about the EA following EU policy on this? As with restricting landfill, Brussels tends to advance policies across the board which may make sense locally (not easy to have big holes in NL) but are daft in countries that have disused quarries. I wonder which EU countries have the highest precipitation and whether such policies have those countries in mind.

  6. Further to Jim’s comments about the EA..

    In my local region was a slice of land that adjoined the river Severn known as “The Jackfield Slip” (nothing to do with Lady Jackfield’s underwear BTW), this was unstable due to underground mining that was allowed to fill with water – a contributory factor of “the great 1952 Jackfield Landslip”, and it was still moving and causing a pinch-point in the river which contributed to flooding upstream. It was finally decided by TPTB that something needed to be done – having been pressured by the local residents to do something about the state of the roads, particularly the 30-year-old “temporary” wooden track but, more to the point, a report suggesting that the whole bloody lot was possibly likely to slide into the Severn and block it – at which juncture it would take about ten minutes to flood Ironbridge to the depth of a couple of metres, with ensuing possible loss of life.

    To cut a long story short, there was a massive project to pile the entire hillside to stablise it. Now completed.

    The EA became involved because the contractors had suggested that as they were having to rebuild the river banks anyway, wouldn’t it be a good idea to widen the river at that point and ease the flooding in Ironbridge and other points upstream. The EA flatly refused to allow this as it would apparently have done something (as yet unexplained) to the ecosystem.

    So, Ironbridge continues to flood…

    Thanks Environment Agency!

  7. “was I dreaming about the EA following EU policy on this”

    I haven’t heard that it is an EU wide policy, no, but given that all environmental law comes out of Brussels one suspects that whatever rationale the EA have given, it will be based on some sort of EU Directive. It is however entirely possible that the EA’s policy is their choice, their way of interpreting EU Law, and they could quite easily have taken another route and still been within the EU’s edicts. The UK Civil Service has a history of taking EU Directives and making them far more onerous in the Uk than what other EU member States do under the same Directive.

  8. ‘the government’s spending on flood defences’

    Not in love with that. People could move higher up the bank.

    This is “government as enablers.” The risks should be with the people who build where it can flood.

  9. Jim, TMB I seem to remember that dredging was stopped because dredged sand was considered to be hazardous waste as per yet another EU directive.

  10. Edward Lud, yes that’s what think I was hearing on LBC, I assumed the floods are not on someone’s farm in the middle of nowhere but on a land which used to have farms, then it got developed into housing and many of the natural and man made obstacles were removed and now water can flow into rivers very quickly. Anyway, I don’t give a toss about these floods, people just moan and complain please mr government aid this aid that money funds help! National catasrophe? Don’t think so, I bought my house house on the slope of a hill, no flood here so it’s not exactly national then is it?

  11. M’Lud,

    Nowadays the hedges are all in funds, and the ditches blocked by dead prime ministers.

  12. Gamecock said:
    “The risks should be with the people who build where it can flood.”

    Yes, but the complication is that the people whose houses cause the flood are not necessarily the ones who get flooded.

    A lot of houses were pretty much safe from floods when they were built, but building up-river or even up-hill increase the water run-off and cause floods down below.

    Who’s to blame? Given the planning system that we have, in part the government who allowed houses to be built in the wrong places and not in others.

  13. Possibly relevant detail: post-glacial isostatic rebound. Basically, the earth’s crust, under heavy glaciers in the last ice age e.g. Scotland, was forced down and is now still rising; correspondingly, the crust around the edges of the glaciers rose to compensate and is now sinking. The latter effect is most severe in SE England. Therefore, the greatest expenditure on flood defences should be …

  14. “Yes, but the complication is that the people whose houses cause the flood are not necessarily the ones who get flooded.”

    Floods are caused by heavy rain.

    “A lot of houses were pretty much safe from floods when they were built.”

    Hard to build when flooded.

    “You knew there was a river there when you bought it.”

    Rhymes with “You knew it was a snake when you picked it up.”

  15. Correct. Dredgings cannot be dumped on/near bank – must be removed as Hazardous Waste

    A neat bureaucratic trick dreamt up by the Green lobbyists in Brussels. A perfect way to stop something happening. And even assuming Boris finds the balls to revoke this post-EU, watch Labour and the LieDems oppose it and say it will “destroy the environment” and harp on about the “hazard”, lying and saying it wouldn’t have been called “hazardous” otherwise.

  16. @ Gamecock
    Read the link. The manager of the caravan park ‘phoned CRT at 8 am asking them to open the sluicegate; at 12 noon resident ‘phoned them saying river has burst its banks.
    CRT refused to open the sluicegate because it said the council-owned building was “unsafe for their staff to enter” Eventually a fireman walked in and opened the gate, releasing water from river into a canal, then emerged unhatmed.

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