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Environment Agency: three million homes in England at risk of flash floods



Three million properties in England are at risk of flash flooding, according to flood maps published by the Environment Agency on Thursday.

An extra 2.4m are threatened by flooding from rivers and the sea, and with one in six households across the country at risk, people are being urged to use the new maps to see if their home is among them.

It is the first time flood maps of this kind have been made available to the public, and Paul Leinster, chief executive of the Environment Agency, says they are “amongst the most comprehensive in the world”. 

The move comes a week after the east coast of England felt the brunt of the most powerful storm surge to hit the isles for six decades. The surge was caused by a low-pressure system combining with strong winds and an unusually high tide.

Experts say that water levels in some areas were higher than during the North Sea flood of 1953, which killed 307 people in England, but flood defences have been much improved since then.

“Last week’s storm surge brings into sharp focus how important it is that people know if they could be affected by flooding”, said Leinster.

“Being prepared can save lives, homes, personal possessions and businesses.” 

Flash flooding, also known as surface water flooding, occurs when intense rainfall overwhelms drainage systems. Previous figures estimated that around 3.8m properties were at risk of flash flooding, but these new models have revised that figure to around 3m – with 10 Downing Street among them.

The government is currently working on a new insurance deal, Flood Re, which aims to ensure insurance remains affordable for people living in high risk areas. However, critics have warned the scheme does not take into account those at risk of flash floods, or those who will become at risk due to future climate change.

Friends of the Earth climate campaigner Guy Shrubsole said this was “astonishing.

“MPs must take action by insisting that the government fixes its flawed insurance scheme, invests properly in flood defences and does more to cut carbon emissions”, he argued

An Environment Agency report, published in November, found that flooding cost the UK £600m in 2012, and affected 70,000 properties.

Further reading:

Government’s flood insurance plan ignores risks of climate change, warn Friends of the Earth

UK coastal regions feeling brunt of extreme weather

Investing for a rainy day of biblical proportions

Environment Agency: UK flood bill £600m in 2012

Flood defence measures lag behind the risks, says committee


A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon




energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”



IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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