Plans to improve the protection of homes and communities across Scotland from flooding have been introduced to the Scottish Parliament.
Following one of Scotland's wettest summers on record, the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Bill will update legislation to manage the increasing risk of flooding. It will: Streamline and speed up the development and implementation of flood defences, introduce a more sustainable and modern approach to flood risk management, suited to the needs of the 21st century and the impact of climate change and create a more joined up and coordinated process to flood risk management at a national and local level.
Visiting the water
of Leith in Stockbridge, which has previously flooded Edinburgh homes, Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said: "This summer has been one of the wettest on record with many people in many parts of Scotland suffering from the distressing impact of flooding, with damage to homes, roads and livelihoods.
"Climate change has seen flooding become an increasingly regular threat to communities across Scotland, and this is only likely to increase with predictions of more intense rainfall and rising sea levels in the years ahead.
"The Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Bill will help deliver better protection for vulnerable communities from the increased risk of flooding.
"Updated legislation will ensure that a fully sustainable and modernised approach to flood management is in place across Scotland."
Environment Minister, Michael Russell added: "Our Bill reflects our commitment to sustainable flood management to address all types of flooding from sea, river or heavy rainfall. It will ensure sustainable, long-term flood prevention measures, including 'soft engineering' such as reed beds and flood plains, are developed by looking at water
catchment areas as a whole.
"The Scottish Government is committed to tackling the devastating effects of flooding, which are highly traumatic for all those who are directly affected. This new legislation will update our processes, bringing it into line with the demands of the 21st century."