Floods pose a threat to human safety and the economy. In the winter of 2013/14, total economic damages from floods in England and Wales were estimated to be £1.3 billion and one in six properties in England is at risk of flooding.

With flood risks to individuals expected to rise more than fourfold by 2090, floods are predicted to be one of the major ways climate change will impact the global economy. 

CEH’s research on flood systems and forecasting models has saved millions of pounds for government and industry across the UK and Europe while ensuring a safer, better prepared public. For example, our Flood Estimation Handbook is estimated to have reduced construction costs and flood damages by between £8 million and £ 30 million per year, respectively, and is now the standard method for estimating flood frequency in the UK.

Our national flood risk mapping models and data underpin the email flood alerts sent to the public and businesses by the Environment Agency and the ‘Flood Alert’ app. (Building resilience to environmental hazards)