Environment Agency - 2007 floods cost UK £3.2bn


The Environment Agency state that investment in flood protection must double to £1bn a year. The urgent need to increase investment in climate change adaptation measures will be again underlined today with the release of a major new report from Environment Agency which calculates that the floods of summer 2007 cost the UK £3.2bn.

The study, which is being positioned as one of the most expensive assessments of flood costs ever undertaken, calculates that the widespread flooding cost households and businesses a total of £2bn.

It found that the average cost per household that was inundated was between £23,000 and £30,000 - a scenario made even worse by the fact a quarter of households effected were not fully covered by insurance.

The average cost incurred per flooded businesses was between £75,000 and 112,000, while 5%of firms were not adequately covered by insurance.

The floods also caused £660m in damage to critical infrastructure and essential services, according to the report, with water suppliers and treatment plants the worst effected, followed by roads, electricity suppliers, agriculture and disruption to schools.

Utility companies and their customers incurred the lion's share of the costs, picking up a bill of £330m, including £186m of costs for water companies and £139m for electricity and gas suppliers.

Robert Runcie, Environment Agency Director of Flood and Coastal Risk Management, said that the study suggested that similarly high costs would result from the recent flooding in Cumbria.

The Environment Agency said that the report again underlines the importance of continued investment in managing flood risks that are expected to rise as a result of climate change.

It said that investment in improved flood protection will need to double to £1bn a year by 2035 to keep pace with the effects of climate change, but calculated that this investment would save England some £180bn in avoided flood costs.