Defra: In October 2019, we commissioned an independent review of the arrangements for determining responsibility for surface water and drainage assets. The review was carried out by David Jenkins. While the review will now be considered in full by ministers, the government is immediately accepting 12 of the recommendations.
Executive summary I was asked towards the end of last year to review the arrangements for determining responsibility for surface water and drainage assets and to identify recommendations for how to make these more straightforward for property owners and others. My terms of reference asked me to consider in particular the working of certain provisions of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010. The review is one of the actions to which the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) committed in their Surface Water Management Action Plan, published in July of 2018. Surface water flooding occurs when the volume and intensity of rainfall overwhelm local drainage. It is a risk described by Defra as affecting over 3 million properties in England. Like all flooding, it can cause significant disruption to people’s lives and livelihoods. It can damage homes and businesses, causing people distress and anxiety, and can result in the closing of roads, railways, schools and hospitals, as well as having environmental impacts.