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Inaugural flooding conference addresses climate resilience in Yorkshire and Humber

06 May 2022

Taking place in Leeds, the conference brought together experts in the field to highlight current challenges in addressing flood risk and coastal erosion in the region. 

Inaugural flooding conference addresses climate resilience in Yorkshire and Humber
ICE Yorkshire & Humber flooding conference at The Met in Leeds.

ICE Yorkshire and Humber has brought together experts from industry and academia to discuss flood risk management at its inaugural flooding conference.

Taking place in Leeds, the conference saw organisations such as the Environment Agency and Yorkshire Water highlight the challenges faced in addressing flood risk and coastal erosion in the region.

The aim was to discuss solutions to reduce the impacts of flooding in the future, with more resilient solutions adapted for climate change.

More than 100 delegates attended, with over 20 industry speakers and an exhibition space for networking.

Kimberley MacPherson, the West Yorkshire operations manager at the Environment Agency, said the event was a “fantastic reminder” of the importance of collaboration.

“This event has been... a fantastic reminder about the importance of partnerships and collaboration to resolve the engineering, flood risk and nature challenges we face whilst up against a rapidly changing climate,” she said.

Plans are in place to turn the conference into an annual event focused on delivering the best solutions for residents and business communities within Yorkshire and Humber.

Helping Yorkshire and Humber address its flood risk challenges

Representatives from the Environment Agency, Yorkshire Water, consulting engineering companies and local councils presented at the conference.

The presentations covered the following topics:

  • Policy,
  • Digital innovation in flood risk management,
  • Resilient infrastructure,
  • Natural flood management (NFM),
  • Asset management, and
  • Optimising for net-zero carbon.

These presentations contributed to the discussion about the wide range of challenges the region faces in reducing flood risk in the future.

The additional challenges associated with climate change were addressed, including increasing rainfall and run-off, and sea level rise in the coastal and estuarine regions.

"The challenges we have with flooding both now, and in the future on the backdrop of climate change, can sometimes feel overwhelming,” said Lee Pitcher, head of partnerships at Yorkshire Water.

Pitcher said bringing together passionate people with experience and new ideas can help to renew confidence and inspire communities to “crack this challenge” as a team.

“That’s the beauty of bringing people together with a common interest,” he said.

Steena Nasapen-Watson, regional director, ICE Yorkshire and Humber, said the flooding conference was a great success, and an opportunity to bring the region together for a day of networking.

“The value of partnership and shared responsibility was explored within the context of innovation. We cannot wait to start working on next year’s themes already,” she said.

The inaugural conference took place at the Met Hotel in Leeds on May 4 and was sponsored by Yorkshire Water.

  • Joanne Stephenson, communications lead at ICE