Non-Structural Measures

Non-structural measures include the following:

Measure Current Position
Sustainable Planning and Development Management The proper application of the Guidelines on the Planning System and Flood Risk Management (DECLG/OPW, 2009) by the planning authorities is essential to avoid inappropriate development in flood prone areas, and hence avoid unnecessary increases in flood risk into the future. The flood mapping produced through the CFRAM Programme will provide an even greater evidential basis for sustainable planning decisions.
Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) In accordance with the Guidelines on the Planning System and Flood Risk Management (DECLG/OPW, 2009), planning authorities should seek to reduce the extent of hard surfacing and paving and require the use of sustainable drainage techniques to reduce the potential impact of development on flood risk downstream.
Adaptation Planning Following approval of the Climate Change Adaptation Framework key sectors and Local Authorities are required to develop sectoral and local adaptation plans. This will require a revised sectoral plan to be prepared by the OPW, covering the flood risk management sector. Other sectors identified in the Framework and Local Authorities will also be required to take account of flood risk when preparing their own sectoral and local adaptation plans.
Land Use Management and Natural Flood Risk Management The OPW will work with the Environment Protection Agency, Local Authorities and other agencies during the project-level assessments of physical works and more broadly at a catchment-level to identify any measures, such as natural water retention measures (such as restoration of wetlands and woodlands), that can have benefits for Water Framework Directive, flood risk management and biodiversity objectives.
Arterial Drainage Schemes The OPW has a statutory duty under the Arterial Drainage Act, 1945, and the Amendment of the Act, 1995, to maintain the Arterial Drainage and Flood Relief Schemes constructed by it under those Acts.
Drainage Districts The statutory duty of maintenance for 4,600 km of river channel benefitting from Drainage District Schemes rests with the relevant Local Authorities.
Maintenance of Channels not part of a Scheme Outside of the Arterial Drainage and Drainage District Schemes, landowners who have watercourses on their lands have a responsibility for their maintenance. Guidance to clarify the rights and responsibilities of landowners in relation to the maintenance of watercourses on or near their lands is available at .
Flood Forecasting and Warning A Government decision was taken on 5 January 2016 to establish a National Flood Forecasting and Warning Service. The service will deal with flood forecasting from fluvial (river) and coastal sources and when fully operational will involve the issuing of flood forecasts and general alerts at both national and catchment scales. A 5-year programme has been agreed to oversee the establishment of this new service.
Emergency Response Planning A Government Task Force on Emergency Planning is currently drafting a Strategic Emergency Management (SEM): National Structures and Framework document. This is to include a Chapter on Recovery to include how funding for emergencies, particularly recovery costs, may be handled in the future.
Promotion of Individual and Community Resilience The Department of Housing, Planning & Local Government (DHPLG) is researching how Community Resilience may be advanced as part of the overall review of the Framework of Major Emergency Management.
Individual Property Protection The outcomes of two Individual Property Protection (IPP) pilots currently underway will inform the Government on any feasible support it could provide to at risk properties.
Flood-Related Data Collection The ongoing collection and, where appropriate, publication of flood-related data will help to continually improve preparation for, and response to, flooding.
Voluntary Home Relocation In extreme circumstances, a homeowner may consider that continuing to live in the property at risk of flooding is not sustainable and would choose to relocate. On 11 April 2017, the Government agreed the administrative arrangements for a once-off Homeowners Voluntary Relocation Scheme for those primary residential properties that flooded during 4 December 2015 to 13 January 2016.