Surface water management planning: guidance (2018)

Guidance to assist the responsible authorities in preparation of Surface Water Management Plans (SWMPs) to help with the management of surface water flooding.

9 Finalise and communicate plan

Finalise and communicate plan: considerations and example outputs
Considerations Example outputs
  • An SWMP report should be produced that summarises key findings and outputs, and includes proposals for monitoring, implementation, reviewing and updating the plan.
  • The report should provide sufficient information for those implementing the plan.
  • Communication materials for other partners and the public should be considered.
  • Detailed SWMP report that clearly communicates findings of each stage, including a summary of any other outputs (e.g. any detailed option appraisal documentation), plus proposals for monitoring implementation and reviewing and updating the plan. Sufficient information for those implementing the plan should be provided.
  • Summary report, including maps and an action plan for communicating clearly with others, e.g. the public.
  • A ‘data pack’ to share key information with stakeholders and help communication and co-ordination (e.g. key GIS outputs, maps, action plan).

A report should be produced that clearly communicates the findings of each stage. It should provide enough detail to help those implementing and monitoring the plan, and be clearly communicated to other stakeholders and the public.

The SWMP should contain a summary of findings and key outputs from each stage of its development ( Table 9.1). It should also include maps and other material that can help to clarify the information it contains, such as summary reports for different audiences. A data pack with key outputs should also be shared amongst key stakeholders, e.g. SEPA to update the FRMPS, lead local authority to feed into the LFRMP, and Scottish Water and LA land use planners to help co-ordinate any relevant work.

In addition to the SWMP report and key data ( Table 9.1), various supporting documentation is likely to have been produced during the SWM planning process. This may include:

  • Collected data (e.g. flood hazard, flood risk, maps of culverts).
  • Models (if further modelling is carried out).
  • Output from models (including outputs from SEPA modelling).
  • Technical reports on flood hazard and risk assessments (e.g. for any new modelling carried out).
  • Technical reports on the option appraisal process and actions to be implemented.

Table 9.1 Example SWMP report content

Preparatory work
  • Summary of data used in the SWMP.
  • Outcome of data validation (overview of confidence in data).
Understanding of surface water flood risk
  • Any significant surface water flood events.
  • Natural drainage features (e.g. watercourses and their catchments, including small urban burns, culverted watercourses).
  • Artificial drainage systems (e.g. Scottish Water sewer catchments, areas of combined sewers, areas of separate surface water and waste water sewers).
  • Any interactions between the natural and artificial drainage systems and pluvial / other sources of flooding (e.g. any known locations where land drainage, watercourses or the sea affect surface water drainage or enter the combined sewer).
  • Current flood risk:
    • Surface water flood hazard in the SWMP area (e.g. this may include a summary of main sources, flow pathways and depths of flooding).
    • Main adverse impacts (risk) of surface water flooding, areas with greatest flood risk (flooding hot spots) at the neighbourhood or street scale – this should include a summary of receptors at risk at appropriate spatial scales (e.g. for the LA area, the SWMP area, flooding hotspots).
  • Future flood risk – may include information on the impacts of climate change, urban creep and population change on flood risk.
  • Existing actions to manage surface water flood risk.
Description of initial objectives and indicators, including priority objectives if relevant.
  • Summary of options considered.
  • Confidence in the appraisal.
  • Reasons for selecting preferred option(s).
  • Clear action plan including SMART objectives – this may include more detailed information on the priority actions to be implemented in the shorter term and less detail on longer term ones (e.g. responsibility for source of funding for longer term actions may not be known yet). The action plan should include information on those responsible for them, the funding mechanism, the implementation dates and key information on actions (particularly structural actions).
Implementation and monitoring
Outline of proposals for implementing and monitoring the plan.
Review and update
Outline of proposals for reviewing and updating the plan.
SWMP ‘data pack’ of key outputs to share with stakeholders and aid co-ordination and communication, e.g. GIS data showing SWMP area, areas at greatest risk, information on objectives and action plan.


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