Flood risk prevention is aimed at avoiding or removing a flood risk. This can be achieved, for example, by avoiding building in vulnerable areas prone to flooding.
These measures include:
• Sustainable Planning and Development Management
In November 2009, the Guidelines on the Planning System and Flood Risk Management, jointly developed by the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government (DECLG) and the OPW, were published under Section 28 of the Planning Acts. These Guidelines provide a systematic and transparent framework for the consideration of flood risk in the planning and development management processes.
• Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS)
Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems can play a role in reducing and managing run-off from new developments to surface water drainage systems, reducing the impact of such developments on flood risk downstream, as well as improving water quality and contributing to local amenities.
• Voluntary Home Relocation
In extreme circumstances, the flood risk to a home may be such that the homeowner may consider that continuing to live in the property is not sustainable and would choose to relocate.
• Adaptation Planning
The Government published a National Climate Change Adaptation Framework in December 2012, which mandated certain Government Departments, other public sector bodies and Local Authorities to prepare sectoral and local climate change adaptation plans. A statutory National Adaptation Framework is to be published early in 2018, which will require the OPW to review and update the 2015 Sectoral Adaptation plan for Flood Risk Management.
• Land Use Management and Natural Flood Risk Management Measures
Flood flows depend on how much rain falls in the catchment and the pattern of rainfall, and also on how much and how rapidly the rain runs off the land into the river. The volume and rate of runoff can be reduced by changing land use practices and by implementing measures to increase the retention of rainfall, by slowing the flow of water down catchments and rivers, by protection and/or rewetting of peatlands and bogs and by planting hedgerows across hillsides.