Scientific evidence supporting the Government’s National Flood Resilience Review

The Government’s National Flood Resilience Review was published on 8 September 2016.

One of the Review’s critical tasks was to improve the national understanding of flood risk in England.

The Review says that experience from recent events has “made it clear that describing flood risk in traditional terms such as a ‘1% chance of flooding’ or ‘1 in a 100 year risk’ is not helpful because it is so likely to be misinterpreted”. Partly this is because these terms describe the flood risk only at a specific location, but do not tell us about the chance of such an event happening somewhere in the country or region in a given year, which is much greater.

In fact, analysis carried out for the NFRR by the JBA Trust with support from JBA Consulting showed that “while the probability of an extreme river flow that could result in a severe flood at any given location is very small, such flows are not unusual when considering the whole country”.

This statement was one of the conclusions of the Scientific Advisory Group, which included JBA Trust director Rob Lamb and Trustee Professor Jim Hall of Oxford University, formed to examine the meteorological and hydrological evidence underpinning the review. Building on statistical methods and data analysis developed in partnership with the Trust, we were helped by statistician Dr Ross Towe and Professor Jon Tawn of Lancaster University in presenting detailed analysis to the Advisory Group. This work was carried out as part of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership between JBA Consulting, the JBA Trust and Lancaster University.




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