The FRMRC brings together a range of agencies and academic institutions to generate sound science and innovative measures to predict and manage the risk of flooding. These measures are urgently needed because factors such as changes in land use and climate are likely to increase the frequency and severity of flooding in the future. It has been estimated that over 2 million homes are already at risk from river, coastal or sewer flooding in the UK. A key aim is to promote a multidisciplinary approach to meeting the research challenges that will be faced, and this is co-ordinated by Heriot-Watt under Professor Pender.
Professor Pender said, “The objective is to increase the understanding of flooding by generating new and original science, which then supports improved flood risk management.
“Part of this consistent approach is the development and adoption of common principles and language, which will cement together existing knowledge and practice with new results from the project. You could say making sure that we’re all talking the same talk and walking the same walk.
“This holistic approach is vital to long term flood management, and we have to make sure it provides a complete and seamless integration of options available to management. The involvement of a broad spectrum of skills is designed to ensure that boundaries to and gaps in our knowledge and understanding are identified and addressed, including identifying deficiencies in the current approach to flood risk management.”
Key areas of research include land use management; real-time forcasting of flash floods and coastal and esturine flooding; the management of infrastructure, i.e. the physical pathways which conduct floodwater and barriers which can be erected to hold it back; and the use of computer programmes to model how floods happen and develop in real life situation. It also includes flood management in urban situations, current warning systems and their potential weaknesses, and the dynamics and effects of how rivers deposit or erode sedimentary materials.
Contact: For further information or to arrange an interview with Professor Pender, please contact: Caroline Dempster, Press Officer, Heriot-Watt University. Tel: 0131-451 3443.