The CFRAM Programme covered those areas, in each county, where, based on initial analysis, the flood risk was determined to be potentially significant from one or more sources of flooding. These areas, referred to as Areas for Further Assessment (AFAs) were identified through a scoping phase called the Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment (PFRA), which is a requirement of the EU ‘Floods’ Directive. 300 AFAs were designated, of which 90 are coastal communities.
It is important to note that the PFRA was not a detailed assessment of flood risk. It was rather a broad assessment, based on available and readily derivable information to identify areas where there was a genuine cause for concern about a risk and impact of flooding that may require further assessment.
The OPW used three sources of information to designate these 300 areas:
- Historic information on floods that happened in the past.
- Public consultation to gain local and expert knowledge from Local Authorities and other Government departments and agencies to identify areas prone to flooding and the potential consequences.
- Engineering techniques to analyse potential damage that could be caused by flooding.
It was not possible to address all flood problems in the country in one programme, and so the OPW prioritised the areas of greatest potential risk and impact. In designating areas that require further assessment, the OPW considered all types of flooding, including from rivers, the sea, intense rainfall events and groundwater. The OPW also considered the impacts flooding can have on people, property, businesses, critical infrastructure, the environment and cultural heritage.
The PFRA will be reviewed in 2018, as required under the EU ‘Floods’ Directive.