Annual flood damage costs £1 billion - but could rise to £27 billion by 2080

While there has been a significant real increase in real terms for flood defence spending since 1997, in order to maintain existing levels of flood protection to 2035, spending on asset maintenance and construction would have to increase by 80% to over £1 billion per year.
That is an increase of £20 million plus inflation per year to 2035, excluding the costs of tackling surface and groundwater flooding. This investment would save the economy some £180 billion over the next 100 years.

• Finding the funding necessary for flood protection works will be challenging in the light of budgetary constraints.
• While national funding will continue to be important, local and other funding will have to play an increasing role in meeting local flood risk management priorities. 

Balancing development pressure, flood risk protection and environmental aims will continue to be difficult, particularly in light of the potentially significant impacts of climate change. New measures introduced by the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 should help to deliver a more coordinated approach, although controversial decisions about which flood protection measures should be funded will remain. 

• The National and Local Flood Risk Management Strategies being developed will have important implications for local communities.
• Balancing the competing objectives and interests of different stakeholders will lead to controversial proposals related to flood protection.
• Full engagement with affected communities will be needed.