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Paul Webster Contributes to CIWEM Paper- Flood and Dredging- A Reality Check


Paul Webster was recently commissioned by CIWEM to draft a paper to help bring some balance to the ongoing debate on dredging.  He subsequently worked with CIWEM and the Blueprint for Water to provide the core material for the paper.  This included a review of previous work by the Environment Agency on the consequences of dredging and a review of recent modelling work for flooding on the Somerset levels.  The paper closed with a look to the future highlighting the key role of land management – both in relation to flood mitigation and appropriate zoning of land use.  The paper was further developed by the Blueprint group prior to issue and associated press briefings.

The paper has been well received, including by the former floods minister and Newbury MP Richard Benyon, whose comments in the recent House of Commons debate on Managing Flood Risks were as follows:

The most important thing we can do is listen to the experts. A very good report was published last week by the Chartered Institution for Water and Environmental Management. We do not use CIWEM enough; its 10,000 real experts are at the beck and call of the Government, the Opposition, companies and local authorities. They have produced a really important report. The report is really good and I suggest that hon. Members read it if they have not already. It shows some of our difficulties in managing flood risk and the problems of dredging indiscriminately.


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