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Research Impact

The School of Geography generates high-impact research which informs government public policy, private enterprise and third sector organisations, as well as inter-government organisations at the local, national and international levels.

Featured research impact summary

Flood risk management

Flood Risk ManagementColin Thorne's research for the Flood Foresight project changed UK policy towards sustainable Integrated Flood Risk Management (IFRM), as implemented by the Floods and Water Management Act (2010).

The issue

In 2004, the government accepted Flood Foresight's headline message that increasing flood risk represents a major challenge to the UK and that 'business as usual' was no longer an option.

The research

Colin has developed innovative approaches to the assessment and ranking of future flood risks which can be applied across a range of types and potential responses to flooding. He has stressed the necessity of properly aligning flood risk and environmental regulation to avoid conflicting river and coastal management actions that suggest to the public that the Environment Agency cares more about wildlife than it does about protecting people and their property from flooding.

The impact

Flood Foresight has established a radically different approach to the study of future flood risks and their management, based on a long-term examination of the entire flooding system. Stakeholder engagement was crucial and research outcomes were targeted to government, policy makers and technical specialists. The findings led to a significant shift in UK flood risk management, enacted by the Floods and Water Management Act 2010.

Flood Foresight, including Colin's research, has informed government, policy makers and implementing organisations at strategic and operational levels, changing the framework of delivery of flood and coastal risk management.

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