The UK’s readiness to meet the challenges of flood and coastal erosion will come under the spotlight at a major exhibition and conference in March. Flood & Coast is the major annual gathering of UK flood and coastal erosion risk management professionals. Convened by the Environment Agency, Flood & Coast takes place at the Telford International Centre from 20-22 March.
Delegates will include representatives from the Environment Agency, local authorities and related agencies, water companies, research academics, businesses, manufacturers and communities affected by, or at risk from, flooding.
Speakers will include the Chief Executive of the Environment Agency, Sir James Bevan, senior executives from the Environment Agency, the Chief Executive of the Met Office, Rob Varley, and Baroness Brown of Cambridge, Chair of the Adaptation Sub-Committee of the Committee on Climate Change.
One eagerly awaited address will be by guest speaker Jeff Lindner. A Director with the Harris County Flood Control District in Houston, Texas, he will speak about the response to the devastating floods that accompanied Hurricane Harvey last August.
Flood & Coast is the authoritative event for flood and coastal risk management in the UK, says Clare Dinnis, Deputy Director Flood & Coastal Risk Management Strategy with the Environment Agency.
“It offers a single opportunity for individuals and organisations to come together from across so many different geographical and technical areas.
“It’s where they can share ideas, learn about and discuss developments and innovations,” says Clare, Chair of the Flood & Coast 2018 Advisory Committee, which comprises leaders from across the flood risk and coastal erosion community of professionals.
The three-day event has been organised under the general theme of ‘Risk, resilience and response in a changing climate’. Conference delegates will explore how organisations and agencies involved in managing the risk of flooding can work in partnership with each other and with communities. They will consider ways of making homes and communities more resilient to lessen the impact of flooding. Looking ahead, the conference will also consider the impact on flooding of challenges such as climate change and how the UK needs to respond.
A further strand running throughout this year’s event will be sessions dedicated to the Environment Agency’s National Flood and Coastal Risk Management Strategy. These sessions will consider the direction the next strategy should take, the challenges it is likely to face and what it will need to achieve.
The Flood & Coast exhibition has a central role as an industry showcase, with some 80 exhibitors attending from all sectors of the industry. It offers a cost-effective medium for sourcing new suppliers, researching new products and benchmarking existing partners.
The exhibition is also a crucial networking space, adds Paul Cobbing, Chief Executive of the National Flood Forum charity and a member of the Flood & Coast 2018 Advisory Committee.
“Flood & Coast brings together a rich concentration of flooding and coastal risk management experts and a mix of commercial companies, product manufacturers, community representatives and academics,” says Paul.
“Bringing together so many people from such diverse backgrounds and perspectives creates a much more interesting event. The opportunity for networking is one of the most valuable aspects that Flood & Coast provides”
Flood & Coast 2018 will also host a gala dinner, on 21 March, where the winners of this year’s Environment Agency Project Excellence Awards will be announced. The awards celebrate best practice in project areas such as programme and project delivery, partnership working, asset management, innovation, value for money, sustainability and community leadership.
Flood & Coast’s association partners include the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), the National Flood Forum, the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) and the Association of Drainage Authorities (ADA).
Flood & Coast is kindly sponsored by Van Oord, Black & Veatch, Jacobs, Flood Modeller, AECOM and VolkerStevin, Boskalis Westminster and Atkins (VBA).
For more information about the event, visit: www.floodandcoast.com