As part of a six-year flood resilience partnership project led by Harrow and Barnet councils, launched in 2021, Metis has played a crucial role in assisting the councils with their “Action for Silk Stream” project.
The goal of “Action for Silk Stream” is to combat the effects of climate change by creating space for water, reducing flooding, and improving water quality in the Silk Stream catchment for the benefit of communities and the environment.
Under our partnership, we were entrusted with the responsibility of creating a Policy Challenge Paper in response to the request from the Department for Environment, Food, & Rural Affairs (Defra) to the London Boroughs of Barnet and Harrow. The main focus of this paper is the retrofitting drainage and water management arrangements in urban areas, closely tied to the Action for Silk Stream (AfSS) project— a significant initiative within the Government’s Flood and Coastal Resilience Innovation Programme.
The primary objective of the paper was to pinpoint areas where policy and legislative changes are necessary in the water management industry. This was accomplished by identifying the challenges faced by those responsible for implementing plans and strategies within the existing legislation and policy framework.
The paper emphasises the urgency of recognising flooding and water conservation as critical national issues that demand effective legislation, policies, strategies, and plans to manage the associated risks. The evaluation conducted in this paper uncovers current shortcomings in the legislation and proposes improvements to address these issues.
Data Collection Methodology and Timeline
The recommendations derived from the key theme discussions are as follows (for detailed sub-recommendations, please refer to the full DEFRA Policy Challenge – Retrofitting drainage and water management arrangements in urban areas report.
In conclusion, the paper highlights the urgent need to update legislation, policies, strategies, plans, and funding processes to align with the current climate situation. Water is a vital resource essential to life, and it must be treated as such.
The paper urges policymakers to embrace the message of conserving and making space for water when striving to improve the status of flood risk, not only in London but across the entire country. This approach will empower those on the front line to effect change and fulfil their core responsibilities in enhancing water management.
Want to learn more about our work? Check out other Metis case studies.
If you’re looking for an experienced, passionate, and innovative civil and environmental engineering team to partner with you on your next project, please get in touch with us today.