London is at increasing risk of flooding from its sewers during heavy rainfall. Growing challenges – more people, more buildings and more rain - will mean that our sewers and drains will become increasingly overloaded. Starting now, London needs to deliver lots of new sustainable drainage measures to support its struggling sewers.
In October 2015, the Mayor of London, in partnership with Thames Water, the Environment Agency and London Councils published a draft of the first London Sustainable Drainage Action Plan. This is a long-term plan intended to inspire, facilitate and co-ordinate a step-change in how we manage rainwater in the Capital. It seeks to roll back the tide of grey, impermeable surfaces and replace them with a mosaic of new green features, such as raingardens and green roofs.
This new approach recognises the value of rainwater, seeking to capture, use, delay or absorb it, rather than reject it as a waste by-product. Sustainable drainage also brings wider benefits to London and Londoners, such as providing food for pollinators and more attractive streetscapes.
The draft Action Plan sets out the need for sustainable drainage systems to be implemented right across London, and proposes a series of actions for each of London’s key land use sectors to realise the necessary changes.
The consultation on the draft Action Plan has now closed. We anticipate publication of the final Action Plan later in 2016.