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 250 Enhanced Programme activities across Somerset. The SRA also inherited 10 measures that got funding in 2014 from the Department for Communities & Local Government (as it was then called).
Money for SRA Enhanced Programme activities comes from council tax and contributions from Somerset’s Internal Drainage Boards.
SRA Enhanced Programmes of works
Somerset Rivers Authority (SRA) has local funding of £3,030,000 for 2023-24. That is £3,010,000 from Somerset council tax, and £20,000 contributed by the Axe Brue and Parrett Internal Drainage Boards (IDBs).
In 2023-24, the SRA’s budget for its Enhanced Programme of works is being topped up with £975,000 redeployed from the SRA’s contingency budget.
That makes a total of £4,005,000.
Of that total, £2,999,000 has been allocated to 16 projects and activities across Somerset.
The SRA’s Enhanced Programme of works is designed to give Somerset extra flood protection and greater local resilience, in line with the objectives of Somerset’s 20 Year Flood Action Plan, which was drawn up during the devastating floods of 2014.
Because different parts of Somerset have different needs, and it makes sense to tackle different problems in a variety of ways, SRA activities lead to hundreds of improvements of different kinds. Some will take longer than one year to design and deliver.
SRA Board members approved the SRA’s 2023-24 budget and Enhanced Programme at a Board meeting on 3 March 2023.
£280,000 of the SRA’s local funding will be used for staff, overheads, and other costs such as professional support services and an allowance for advice from Natural England.
The SRA’s council tax charge has not increased since 2016, when it was introduced.
Find out more about the 23 activities in the SRA’s Enhanced Programme of works for 2020-21.
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 2022-23
The following 2022-23 links are to downloadable PDF documents.
Get a PDF of the Somerset Rivers Authority Annual Report 2022-23 (32 pages – 4.7MB). This PDF may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.
Get a text-only PDF version of the SRA Annual Report 2022-23 – (29 pages). A straightforwardly accessible version.
Alternatively, you can explore the entire text of the SRA Annual Report 2022-23 on this website.
SRA work in 2021-22
SRA work in 2020-21
Read about the SRA Annual Report 2020-21.
SRA work in 2019-20
Read about the SRA Annual Report 2019-20.
SRA work in 2018-19
Read about the SRA Annual Report 2018-19.
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 have previously been part-funded by Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (HotSWLEP) Growth Deal money.
All of that money has been spent on the following works:
- Pioneer dredging activities on the River Parrett
- Development work on the Bridgwater Tidal Barrier
- River Sowy – King’s Sedgemoor Drain (KSD) Enhancements Scheme (Phase One)
- Natural flood management works to Slow the Flow of water as part of Hills to Levels
- Taunton Strategic Flood Alleviation Improvements Scheme
- New Highbridge surface water pumping station
A full account of the SRA’s spending of HotSWLEP money (PDF) was presented to the SRA Board on 5 March 2021.