If my thinking on global warming is right then in the United Kingdom we will have more rainfall. The United Kingdom is growing its population and there are plenty of more people who are settling in these islands than there are who leave these islands. That means we will build more houses, more roads and more concrete based infrastructure, and that means that the increased rainfall that I expect will not be sinking into the grounds as much as running off it. That means, if I am right, more and more flooding.
We have to do something not only to combat the pace of climate change but also to deal with its effects. Flood prevention and the construction of buildings in a way that resists flooding and flood damage has to be quite important in securing our future, but unfortunately little seems to be done in a cohesive way.
When you pay your water charges (and some of these charges are so high) there is an element paid for removal of waste water. Removing waste water through sewers into treatment plants and deep into the sea are what you pay for, but as the population grows there is more and more waste water and even the sewers over engineered by the Victorians sometimes cannot cope when it rains very hard.
One solution is to avoid concrete and cement in the construction of infrastructure and use materials which allow water to seep through. Inevitably this will be more expensive to construct and more expensive to maintain.
The use of the motor car is also indirectly responsible for some flooding. We often live in homes where parking our cars is a problem and for many the solution is to concrete over the front garden to create a safe parking space. There are other alternatives to this – using for example hollow bricks which can grow grass through the centre of them, enabling the water to drain through the land or by using gravel.
The government is carefully considering these matters in a draft Water Bill. As always it is a conflict between doing what is right on the one hand and doing what is affordable on the other hand. I personally would take a radical approach; water and its drainage is too important to be left in the lands of private business. We should think about bringing this precious resource which can keep us all alive and healthy or kill us all, into full state control.