Could the Recent Flooding in the UK have been Prevented?

While the damage caused by recent flooding has been unprecedented in British history, there are signs that the worst of the crisis may finally be over. This week, the Environment Agency confirmed that the Bewdley Bridge in flood-hit Worcestershire was to be reopened, after a careful inspection revealed that the risk of further damage had greatly diminished.

Although residents in the south of England may soon be able to begin repairing their lives, however, the fall-out and subsequent repercussions of this natural disaster are likely to rumble on. More specifically, the British government and the Environment Agency will need to respond to claims that they could have done more to prevent much of the damage caused, and review their response to increasingly adverse weather conditions.

Claims and Counter-Claims: What the Experts Say

According to an experienced group of environmental planners and experts, the impact of the recent floods could have been managed far better with the application of more advanced techniques. In addition to this, it has also been claimed that public officials and ministers were not proactive enough in erecting demountable and concrete flood barriers to protect bridges, land and homes throughout the south of England. These are serious accusations, although it should be noted that they are being used primarily to educate rather than castigate the coalition.

These experts expressed their views in an open letter to Parliament, where they demanded that the Prime Minister develop a clearly defined and actionable strategy for future flood prevention. While Downing Street has already defended criticism from the Labour Party by claiming that it has invested more capital than ever into flood protection, the group state that this level of funding must not only be sustained but also committed to the creation of more preventative measures. This is especially true when you consider that a total of 70 warnings remain in place nationwide, as although only two of these are severe they underline the need for urgent and proactive action.

The Future for England and its Defence Against the Rising Tides of Change

This is also supported by leading ecologists, who claim that the shape of the UK has been irreparably altered by years of storm damage and corrosion. Such damage is the physical embodiment of a changing climate, as global warming continues to wreak havoc with British ecosystems and drive a distinct need for change. This has already been recognised by senior figures within the industry, who are motivated to lend their expertise and identify a solution.

It is critically important that the government react quickly, initially by working alongside these private and public sector environmental agencies to create a viable and effective strategy. After all, they can ill afford to sit still and wait while the natural around them continues to evolve, as this will leave them increasingly vulnerable to extreme weather conditions and the impact that gradual climate change is likely to have on the environment.

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