Flood risk management work in Somerset
Contents – quick links
Somerset Rivers Authority’s main aim is to give Somerset the greater flood protection and resilience that long experience has shown it needs.
In particular, the SRA is guided by Somerset’s 20 Year Flood Action Plan, which was drawn up during the devastating floods of 2013-14. According to an Economic Impact Assessment, those floods cost Somerset up to £147.5million. Since 2014, more than £40million has been spent in Somerset to reduce flood risks.
Somerset Rivers Authority focuses heavily on providing additional maintenance and improvements to rivers and their catchments, roads prone to flooding, and structures such as culverts and drains.
Works range from major engineering schemes costing hundreds of thousands of pounds (such as creating or repairing flood relief channels) to simple acts costing a few pounds (such as emptying a roadside gully).
No one move will ever solve all of Somerset’s flooding problems, so a mix of different measures is essential.
Dozens of SRA projects, with hundreds of different elements, are being taken forward.
New projects are added every year. They go into a yearly Enhanced Programme, approved by the SRA Board at a final budget-setting meeting held every March. Actions can also be added during the course of a year.
Some complex projects can take much longer than a year to design and deliver. This means that the SRA has all sorts of ongoing schemes at different stages of development.
Since its launch in January 2015, the SRA has approved funding for more than 160 Enhanced Programme activities across Somerset. The SRA also inherited 10 measures that got funding in 2014 from the Department for Communities & Local Government.
Money for SRA Enhanced Programme activities comes from council tax and contributions from Somerset’s Internal Drainage Boards.
SRA Enhanced Programmes of works
Nearly £2.7million of Somerset Rivers Authority’s local funding for 2012-21 will be spent on 23 different projects and activities across Somerset. Some will take longer than one year to deliver.
SRA Board members approved the SRA’s 2020-21 budget and Enhanced Programme at a Board meeting on 6 March 2020.
The SRA has local funding of £2.944million for 2020-21. That is all money raised through council tax, except for £20,000 contributed by the Axe Brue and Parrett Internal Drainage Boards.
Just over £250,000 of the SRA’s local funding will be used for staff, overheads, a small projects budget and allowance for advice from Natural England.
The SRA’s council tax charge is still at the same level it was in 2016.
During 2020-21, the SRA will also use Growth Deal funding from the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership. This will help the SRA to pay for pioneer dredging, River Sowy/King’s Sedgemoor Drain (KSD) enhancements, and North Drain Pumping Station improvements which will benefit the catchment of the River Brue. The SRA will also use its Growth Deal funding to contribute to a £1.8million Wessex Water flood prevention scheme in Highbridge.
Some local funding from previous years has also been reserved for dredging and Sowy/KSD works.
Find out more about the 28 activities funded in the SRA Enhanced Programme of works for 2019-20.
Find out more about the 22 activities funded in the SRA Enhanced Programme of works for 2018-19.
SRA Annual Reports
SRA work in 2018-19
The following 2018-19 links are to downloadable PDF documents.
Alternatively, you can explore the entire text of the SRA 2018-19 Annual Report on this website.
SRA work in 2017-18
Read about the SRA’s End of Year Report for 2017-18
SRA work in 2016-17
Read about the SRA’s End of Year Report for 2016-17
SRA work in 2015-16
Read about the SRA’s End of Year Report for 2015-16
Major SRA projects funded by Heart of the SW Local Enterprise Partnership Growth Deal money
Several major projects funded by Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (HotSWLEP) Growth Deal money also form part of the SRA’s ongoing plans. SRA major projects tend to be longer-term works, stretching out towards 2021. These works include:
- Pioneer dredging activities on the River Parrett
- River Sowy / King’s Sedgemoor Drain (KSD) enhancements
- Development work on the Bridgwater Tidal Barrier
In the past they have included:
- Natural flood management works to Slow the Flow of water as part of Hills to Levels
- Taunton Strategic Flood Alleviation Improvements Scheme