Porous surfaces - to mitigate flooding risk
Parts of East Anglia suffered badly from flooding a couple of months ago, and some still are suffering. The South West is now suffering much worse still. This is weather chaos, the consequence of human-induced climate change, starting to come home to roost. We need to tackle it at source. But we also need to mitigate its effects. Example:
As the Green Party's lead MEP candidate for eastern England, I am calling today for urgent advice and encouragement (and, where necessary, financial incentives) to enable local authorities and property owners including householders and landlords to improve the drainage and porosity of parking and similar hard surfaces within their control, in order to cut flooding risk.
Areas of Tarmac and other hard paving need drainage holes skillfully punched into them to enable excess water to be absorbed underground instead of filling up over-loaded surface water drainage pipes, and lying in pools on roads, pavements and in car parks.
Landscape and groundwork contractors should be diverted into this flood-prevention work as one of our national priorities. No-one should be contracting them to cover more areas with non-porous paving. Local authority hydrological engineers and ecologists should be among the specialists advising on this work.
More severe storms and rainfall have been predicted for years now, but the government has been too fixated with the economy, and with its misplaced endless promotion of yet more economic 'growth' and 'development'. It has plumped for Tarmac-ing over more and more, instead of making changes that would actually improve the quality of our lives, and of preparing for the worst, as people in the South West are now discovering.
Government has again failed to consider what, over time, is the dominant factor in our lives: climate and the environment. Until it does, and green ideas come first, we will be forced to live with tragedies, distress and waste. The Committee on Climate Change told BBC News recently that just as scientists are predicting more extreme weather, buildings are being allowed on flood plains, gardens are being paved over and urban green space is being lost. This has got to stop.