1. Ministerial Foreword
This report to Parliament outlines the progress made within 2019 in implementing the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009.
2019 marked ten years since the publication of the Act, which introduced a more sustainable and modern approach to managing flood risk in Scotland. Since its introduction, a great deal of work has been completed and our understanding of the scale of the climate challenge has grown with improved science.
The Scottish Government has, since 2008, committed to managing flood risk by making at least £42 million available each year to help reduce flood risk for communities. This has provided funding for a range of actions, including 40 Flood Protection Schemes (FPS) that are being taken forward within the current flood risk management cycle.
I am pleased to say that the interim reports published in 2019 show that significant progress has been made across Scotland in this cycle to implement the actions set out in the local plans. In 2019 three flood protection schemes were completed, the White Cart Water FPS Phase 3, Broxburn FPS and Camlachie Burn Biggar Street works. As well as delivering measures in the first cycle, an array of new actions have been prepared which will soon be prioritised by SEPA for the second cycle. This proves that our risk-based and plan-led approach outlined within the Act is producing and delivering an ambitious and consistent pipeline of projects and actions to protect communities across Scotland.
Whilst we have achieved incredible progress over the last ten years, it is imperative to continue to improve our understanding of flood risk and to take forward sustainable, integrated actions now to ensure our communities, economy and natural environment are resilient to the changing climate and increased flood risk. Alongside progressing engineered flood protection schemes, Strategic Drainage Partnership projects have established a more sustainable, integrated approach to surface water management and we have committed to increasing understanding of adaptation and resilience to flood risk by developing Scotland's Living with Flooding Action Plan. In Menstrie, at the launch of the plan, I saw first-hand the work that communities are undertaking to proactively adapt their homes to increase their resilience to flood risk.
Our 2020 Programme for Government outlines a range of measures to drive our green recovery and end Scotland's contribution to climate change. We have committed an extra £150 million to flood risk management actions, £12 million to coastal adaptation and are continuing to work towards our commitment of becoming a net-zero society by 2045. As we move into the next ten years, it is essential that we continue to develop strategies within flood risk management that drive Scotland's green recovery, adapt to our changing climate and continue the great work that has been undertaken since the publication of the Act.