Natural Flood Management and Drought

Understand the role that Natural Flood Management (NFM) can play in helping to reduce the impacts of drought.

Our aim is to help practitioners to design NFM schemes within the context of water level management, not just to address flood risk to properties but to alleviate the impacts of drought upon the wider environment. Often drought mitigation has co-benefits such as flood risk management, pollution reduction and improvements to biodiversity.
Due to climate change, we are increasingly experiencing prolonged dry periods and forecasts suggest this pattern will worsen in the future resulting in hotter, drier summers. There are also issues caused by an increasing human population, including a greater demand for water, the risk of water supplies becoming scarce, a detrimental effect on water quality, unprecedented biodiversity loss, and concerns over food security.

This project will involve working with various partners including the Environment Agency and Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust. It will initially identify NFM measures which impact drought, then collate evidence for drought mitigation. Fact sheets will be produced summarising NFM influence to drought, and recommendations for interventions or techniques to better address issues of water retention. If possible, we hope to include recommendations about the design of NFM schemes to mitigate against the impacts of both drought and flood. The outputs of this project may be used to support future business case development by project partners.
If anyone has any evidence for drought mitigation directly related to NFM schemes that would be useful for this project, please email us. Evidence can be data-based, photographs or video, or anecdotal based upon experience.

Project Duration: February 2023 – August 2023

Project Team:

Dr Stephanie Bond, ICASP Impact Translation Fellow

Emma Cowan, iCASP Project Support Officer

Duncan Fyfe, Environment Agency

Charlotte Simmons, Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust

Dr Megan Klaar, University of Leeds

Prof Colin Brown, University of York