Communities in London and elsewhere in the Thames Estuary benefit from world class flood defences. The last serious loss of life here was in 1953. Partly as a consequence of this disaster, the entire Thames flood plain, 1.25 million people, and £200 billion worth of property are now protected by an integrated system of warnings, flood defences, and locally formulated flood plans.
The TE2100 Project
The Thames Estuary 2100 project (TE2100), led by the Environment Agency, is a comprehensive action plan to manage flood risk for the Tidal Thames from Teddington in West London, through to Sheerness and Shoeburyness in Kent and Essex. The plan is based on current guidance on climate change, but is adaptable to updated predictions for sea-level rise and climate change over the remainder of this century. Estimates predict a relative sea level rise of 90 cm by 2100 but the TE2100 Plan is adaptable to differing rates of sea level rise up to 2.7m, and an increase of 40% in peak river flood flows.
Climate Change Research and the Thames Estuary
The Environment Agency funded major new research on changes to fluvial flows, sea storm surges, and sea level rise. The project also undertook over 300 studies and investigations to look at how tidal flood risk is increasing in the Thames Estuary due to ageing flood defence structures as well as in recognition that increasingly more people live and work in the floodplain. These investigations showed that we are unlikely to need major changes to the existing flood defence system and structures for the next 25 years.
Working with others
Collaboration with partners and communities was vital in developing a plan that will help people make the right flood management decisions for the future. The Environment Agency will be working with TEP, local authorities and communities to find the best way to meet the future demands.
TEP Involvement in TE2100
TEP arranged a series of evening talks and weekend open days with the Environment Agency – in conjunction with local partners – to update communities and organisations across North Kent and Essex. These discussions informed the TE2100 consultation process.