This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on flooding. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Standard Notes

17.06.2014Winter Floods 2013/14
A summary of the Government response to severe flooding in the Winter of 2013-14, including details of recent announcements by the Prime Minister, information about Government policy on flood planning and response, and sources of advice for those affected. Recent updates include details of the Environment Food and Rural Affairs Committee report on the Winter Floods published in June 2014.
26.02.2014Flood insurance
This note outlines issues relating to flood insurance within the UK.
24.02.2014The Bellwin Scheme
The Bellwin scheme provides emergency financial assistance to local authorities. Such assistance is usually provided in response to an emergency caused by the weather, but relief may also be available in other circumstances. This note describes how the scheme works, and includes examples of occasions when Bellwin funding has been used. The scheme is devolved to Scotland and Wales, which run very similar arrangements to those in England.
12.02.2014Flood defence spending in England
Average flood damage costs are currently 1.1 billion per year. Maintaining existing levels of flood defence would require spending on flood defences to increase to over 1 billion per year by 2035. National flood defence spending will reduce slightly from current levels over the next four years. While the overall number of properties at risk of flooding may not rise in the short term, there could be a significant increase in the longer term if current spending levels do not increase.
15.05.2013The Water Bill
The Government plans to introduce a Water Bill in this parliamentary session. It will probably focus on increasing competition in the water sector, and it will also aim to deliver other objectives including the provision of flood insurance, the better management of water supplies and more sustainable water abstraction.

Research Papers

28.01.2010Flood and Water Management Bill: Committee Stage Report
This is a report on the House of Commons Committee Stage of the Flood and Water Management Bill. It complements Research Paper 09/91 prepared for the Commons Second Reading.
10.12.2009Flood and Water Management Bill. Bill 9 2009-10.
There has been growing pressure to introduce legislation to address the threat of flooding and water scarcity-both are predicted to increase with climate change. The Government published a draft Flood and Water Management Bill in April 2009, and the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee undertook pre-legislative scrutiny of the document. The Committee welcomed a number of the proposals, but it was concerned that a lack of parliamentary time would undermine the introduction of a comprehensive Bill. The Government introduced a slimmed-down version of the Bill on 19 November 2009. Key features include measures to: require the Environment Agency to create a National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy, which a number of organisations will have to follow; require lead local flood authorities to create Local Flood Risk Management Strategies; enable the Environment Agency and local authorities more easily to carry out flood risk management works; introduce a more risk-based approach to reservoir management; change the arrangements that would apply should a water company go into administration; enable water companies more easily to control non-essential uses of water, such as the use of hosepipes; enable water companies to offer concessions to community groups for surface water drainage charges; require the use of sustainable drainage systems in certain new developments; and, introduce a mandatory build standard for sewers.

Select Committee Reports

12.07.2011Humanitarian response to the Pakistan floods.International
Government response. International Development Select Committee; Department for International Development report [Commons]
27.04.2011Humanitarian response to the Pakistan floods.
International Development Select Committee report [Commons]
30.03.2011Future flood and water management legislation.
Government response. Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee; Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs report [Commons]
15.12.2010Future flood and water management legislation.
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

That this House sympathises with the Australian people who are suffering due to the severe flooding that is occurring in the state of Queensland; offers its support and condolences ...
That this House notes the remarks of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on 13 July 2010 indicating that the Coalition Government is preparing ...
That this House warmly welcomes the setting up of the Cumbria Flood Recovery Fund by the Cumbria Community Foundation to support individuals, families and voluntary groups who have ...
That this House wishes to thank the emergency services for all their hard work, dedication and commitment as they responded to the appalling floods in Cumbria last week; commends the ...
That this House notes with concern that 27.3 per cent. of local planning authorities have, in the last four years, approved planning permission for development in spite of an Environment ...

Lords Library Notes

22.01.2014Water Bill
The Water Bill would introduce greater competition in the water sector by allowing non-household customers to switch their water and sewerage supplier (retail competition) and by allowing new entrants to the water market to provide new sources of water or sewerage treatment services (upstream competition).

POST Papers

05.12.2011Natural Flood Management
Natural flood management, defined here as the alteration, restoration or use of landscape features, is being promoted as a novel way of reducing flood risk. This POSTnote reviews the policy drivers of this approach, as well as the scientific basis, and implementation, of inland natural flood management strategies.
01.09.2010Sea level rise, September 2010
This POSTnote summerizes the causes of sea level rise, and the uncertainties in and the consequences for UK climate change adaptation.
01.12.2008River basin management plans, December 2008
This POSTnote outlines some of the challenges in implementing River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs) in the UK to meet Water Framework Directive (WFD) objectives.
01.07.2007Urban flooding, July 2007
This POSTnote sets out the current approaches to managing urban drainage and examines proposals for improving them. Urban flooding, July 2007. POSTnote 07/289.


  • Research Papers (RP) - briefings produced by the House of Commons Library on Bills, topical issues and regular statistics
  • Standard Notes (SN) - shorter, topical briefings from the Commons Library
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POST Notes - short briefing notes produced by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - papers compiled by the House of Lords Library on Bills and for debates in the Lords
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses