FloodSmart project in Chesham
FloodSmart was a project that ran from 2013 to 2015. The aim was to enable Chesham to be more aware, resilient, and prepared for the effects of flooding.
It was part funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, (Defra) and managed by Buckinghamshire County Council, working in partnership with the Environment Agency, Chiltern District Council, Chesham Town Council, and the National Flood Forum.
Chesham's increasing flood risk
Modelling by the Met Office predicted an increase in rainfall intensity in Chesham due to climate change. In fact, 35% of properties in Chesham were predicted to experience flooding in the next 100 years.
The flooding is caused by:
- high groundwater levels combined with rainfall
- surface water flooding, especially in steep areas during heavy rainfall
- river flooding from the River Chess and Vale Brook
The project was a huge success and helped:
- form the Chesham Flood Action Group, which is still going strong
- raise awareness with residents, businesses, and schools
- increase understanding of flood risk and how to reduce it
- further understand the role of the planning system in flood management