Surface water management planning: guidance (2013)
Guidance to assist the responsible authorities in preparation of Surface Water Management Plans (SWMPs) to help with the management of surface water flooding. This guidance has now been superseded by the 2018 edition.
3 Preparatory work
3.1 Defining SWMP geographical areas
This section will focus on the priority areas for SWMPs identified through the FRM Strategies and LFRMPs. However as stated in Section 1 SWMPs can be carried out at any scale and should follow a risk based approach.
Using the SEPA pluvial flood hazard and risk data, LPD partnerships will agree where the surface water flood risk is highest and identify the towns and cities where SWMP effort should be focused.
This will allow the LPD partnerships to set up the governance arrangements for the SWMP(s) that should consider:
- Local authorities within the SWMP area
- Which local authority will lead the SWMP(s) if more than one local authority is involved
- Other partners required in the SWMP(s).
Once the SWMP partnership(s) have been set up they can refine the boundary of the SWMP area if required. This should be done as the current impacts of surface water flooding can be summarised within the defined area and the achievement of objectives can be tracked against this.
SWMP areas should include all the sources and pathways of surface water flooding. The size and extent of the natural (watercourses) and artificial (above ground and below ground) drainage networks should be taken into account, it should be noted that artificial and below ground drainage networks do not always drain the areas defined by natural topography.
Defining the geographical extent of a SWMP may be based on several considerations including;
- Natural drainage catchments
- Sewer catchment boundaries and other artificial drainage networks
- Extent of urban areas
- Local authority boundaries
A SWMP area can extend beyond the boundaries of a PVA (which are based on river catchments) if some of the sources and pathways of surface water flooding or part of the urban drainage area, lies out with a PVA.
3.2 SWMP Partnerships
Based on the geographical extent of the SWMP and the risk of surface water flooding the LPD partnerships should agree what governance arrangements are required to take forward the SWMP(s) in the LPD area, which may include specific partnerships to take forward the SWMP(s). This should include identifying what authorities are required in the partnerships and determining what local authority should lead the partnership and the production of the SWMP.
The SWMP partnerships should be underpinned by clear governance arrangements with the SWMP partnerships reporting progress to the LPD partnerships to ensure the SWMPs are progressing on time to include outputs from the SWMP in the LFRMP.
The lead local authority is expected to lead on setting up the SWMP partnerships and coordinating the work required to develop SWMPs. Other responsible authorities may lead on certain aspects of work required to support the SWMP process e.g. Scottish Water may lead on any sewer modelling required to support the production of a SWMP.
The legal responsibilities for surface water and drainage are complex with different authorities responsible for different parts of the drainage system. The requirement of the FRM Act for responsible authorities to co-operate with each other is therefore particularly important for the management of surface water flooding.
Partnerships should be established to take forward SWMPs that bring together all authorities with responsibilities for the drainage system (this should not be limited to responsible authorities designated under the FRM Act) to ensure co-ordination of actions to manage surface water flooding. The partnerships should work across traditional institutional boundaries to deliver an integrated and sustainable approach to the management of surface water flooding.
It should be seen as an opportunity to identify measures that have multiple benefits that help all the different authorities meet their objectives and legal responsibilities (even when these objectives and legal responsibilities may differ). In order to achieve multiple benefits co-ordination with other planning processes is required, for example:
- River Basin Management Planning
- Biodiversity Action Plans
- Land use planning system (Strategic Development Plans, Local Development Plans, Masterplans, Development Management)
- Climate Change Adaptation
- Scottish Water Ministerial Objectives
- Emergency response planning
The Ministerial Guidance on SFM states " SEPA and the responsible authorities must work across traditional institutional boundaries to deliver an integrated approach to flood risk management. This will require adoption of partnership working at all levels of flood management from national strategic partnerships through to local / operational partnerships that deliver co-ordinated actions on the ground."
The authorities required in a SWMP partnership should not be limited to the Scottish Ministers (including Transport Scotland), SEPA and the responsible authorities (local authorities, Scottish Water) designated under the FRM Act. Other authorities may be required depending on local circumstances or on the stage of the SWM planning process e.g.
- Scottish Canals
- Land owners
Different members of the key partner organisations may also be required at different stages of the SWM planning process e.g.
- Land use planning staff
- Emergency planning staff
- Asset maintenance / management staff.
The type or level of partnership working to develop SWMPs can vary and different partnerships will be required to suit individual circumstances - the level of partnership working should be risk based and proportionate to the size and complexity of the problem. For example in lower risk areas where a less detailed SWMP is required the level of partnership working may be less and based on co-ordination (as a minimum between local authorities and Scottish Water).The Ministerial Guidance on SFM identified common types of partnership arrangements (Table 3).
|Table 3. Common types of partnership arrangements|
|Degree of partnership||Characterised by|
|Co-existence||" You stay on your turf and I'll stay on mine"
May be a rational solution - where clarity is brought to who does what and with whom.
|Co-operation||" I'll lend you a hand when my work is done"
Often a pre-requisite of further degrees of partnership, where there is early recognition of mutual benefits and opportunities to work together.
|Co-ordination|| "We need to adjust what we do to avoid overlap and confusion"
Where the partners accept the need to make some changes to improve services/activities from a user / customer / community perspective and make better use of their own resources.
|Collaboration||" Let's work on this together"
Where the partners agree to work together on strategies or projects, where each contributes to achieve a shared goal.
|Co-ownership||" We feel totally responsible"
Where the parties commit themselves wholly to achieving a common vision, making significant changes in what they do and how they do it.
3.3 Resourcing the surface water management planning process
The LPD partnerships should agree how the production of the SWMP(s) in the LPD will be resourced. This may include consideration of pooling resources or joint funding of posts or consultancy services. The Ministerial Guidance on SFM provides examples of joint funding arrangements ( Table 4).
Some of the key tasks involved in the production of a SWMP that should be taken into account when considering resources include:
- Administration of meetings etc
- Storage / management of data and models
- Data licensing and Intellectual Property Rights ( IPR)
- Project management
- Carrying out technical tasks (e.g. flood risk assessment / appraisal of measures) including production of associated reports.
Joint funding of Integrated Catchment Studies to address the risk of surface water
An example of a collaborative approach to the assessment and management of surface water flooding is the Integrated Catchment Studies ( ICS) being undertaken in Falkirk, Tayside, Ayrshire, Aberdeen and Edinburgh. This collaborative approach has involved joint working between Scottish Water, the local authorities and SEPA and joint funding of the studies between Scottish Water and the local authorities. The modelling undertaken in these studies is being led by Scottish Water, with both financial and staffing resources provided by Scottish Water and relevant local authorities, with further staffing resources provided by SEPA. Contracts for all aspects of the studies were issued through Scottish Water's existing contractual agreement, with the local authorities agreeing to provide a scaled financial input to the study. In return all local authorities will receive a copy of the integrated catchment model for their use in any relevant work that will include use in any SWMPs for the areas.
3.4 Collating existing information and scope level of detail required in SWMP
Once the geographical area and partnerships have been established, existing relevant information for the SWMP area should be identified and collated. Data and information will be held by the SWMP partners and maximum use should be made of existing information. A list of information that is required / available for a SWMP is given in Appendix 4.
A project data register should be set up to formally record the information available for the SWMP area. This should include information on:
- What data and information is available
- Who owns the data / information
- The format of the data and information
- The quality of the data
- Potential limitations on the use of the data
As stated above, the SWMP should follow a risk based approach and the level of detail provided in the plan should reflect the resources required from each of the partners and should be proportionate to the risk and complexity of the surface water flooding problem.
Reviewing the available data will provide an initial indication of the level of detail required in the SWMP. In particular the FRM Strategies will give an indication of the level of risk of surface water flooding in an area. Other information and local knowledge will give an indication of the complexity of the flooding mechanisms in the area. The SWMP partnerships should decide on the level of detail likely to be required for the SWMP (Table 5).
|Table 5. Overview of different levels of detail that a SWMP can contain|
|Management of surface water flooding (low risk areas)|
|SWMP required medium detail|
|SWMP required high detail|
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