Innovative groundwater flooding project launched in the Chiltern Hills

Innovative groundwater flooding project launched in the Chiltern Hills

In the Chiltern Hills and Berkshire Downs, almost 200 communities and 70,000 properties are at risk of groundwater flooding.

Due to groundwater flooding typically affecting small rural communities, it can be hard for people to support one another. It also means that groundwater flooding often fails to qualify for flood management funding.

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However, Project Groundwater is now working across the Chiltern Hills and Berkshire Downs to support nine at-risk communities to be prepared for groundwater flooding. It is led by Buckinghamshire Council as part of Defra’s £150 million Flood and Coastal Resilience Innovation Programme, managed by the Environment Agency, which aims to test innovative and practical actions to increase our resilience and ability to adapt to climate change. The nine communities include:

  • Luton, Bedfordshire
  • Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire
  • Chesham, Buckinghamshire
  • Marlow, Buckinghamshire
  • Hinksey Park, Oxford

Recognising the critical role that communities play in flood prevention and recovery, the project will be working closely with five other local authorities, local Flood Community Groups, and other local partners, including the Chilterns AONB and the River Chess Smarter Water Catchments Project.

By working in collaboration with the communities it serves, Project Groundwater will develop innovative and sustainable solutions to groundwater flooding that will:

  • share understanding and increase awareness
  • actively monitor flood events and improve warning systems
  • prepare communities to respond to and withstand flood events

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Maëlle Jacmarcq (Project Groundwater), Piers Brown (River Chess Smarter Water Catchment) and Caitlin Williams (Project Groundwater) at Chalk, Cherries and Chairs Tracking the Impact event in Chesham.

Community Readiness Survey

Project Groundwater is currently asking members of their chosen communities to take part in their Community Readiness Survey, which will be used to plan future collaborative work with each community, to build understanding and awareness, and mitigate local groundwater flood risk.

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