The Cost of Flooding
The Environment Agency estimated that the economic costs of the summer floods of 2007 was £3.9 billion. More recently, the EA estimated 2015/16 UK winter flooding costs to have cost £1.6 billion nationally to business, people, and lives.
One study that assessed national costs in terms of the sources of flooding found that in an average year the total costs caused by rivers is £560m, while coastal flooding is £320m, surface water is £260m, and groundwater is £210m. The future risk is expected to increase, with climate change the main driver.
Flooding can also undermine the quality of life and impact affected communities, from the immediate physical and health dangers to longer term clean-up, repairs, and replacements, as well as living with the ongoing risk.
Unfortunately, alerts of possible water incursion are often not in time for effective response. With greater warning, damage from floods can be decreased.
Rainfall Is Not The Cause
Rainfall may result in flooding, but the occurrence and scale of flooding are dependent on how wet or dry the ground already is. The problem is not rainfall, it’s how much water is already in the ground.
Rainfall in upstream catchment rural areas causes flooding in an urban environment. Flooding events also damage farms, crops, and livestock as well as chemical run-off polluting watercourses.
We are a team of engineers and scientists highly skilled at developing low-cost solutions for high volume deployments. With a background in remote sensing, data modelling, geographic information system, hardware, and software, we have come together, to solve a problem:
“How can we predict when and where it is going to flood?”
We realised technology has finally got cheap enough and powerful enough to help predict when you, your house, and your property are in danger of flooding–we just need to put it in the field.
With Fera Science and Precision Decisions, we are working to develop a national real-time, soil moisture monitoring network that can be used across the UK to protect a wide range of assets from agricultural to property and lives. By understanding how wet the ground is across the UK we can support better decision making for many industries.
Our vision is to provide a national soil moisture information network, and by making the information available, we aim to enable the UK flood management teams to understand the real risk of flooding in key areas and to take proactive action to save lives, property and reduce disruption.