Community action cuts flood risk

A water butt being installed
Published: 14 May 2024
Filed under: Climate change

The Council has now installed around 1,000 water butts in neighbourhoods at risk from extreme rainfall as part of its successful Lower Floods campaign.   

Working in partnership with dedicated residents and community groups, the campaign went door-to-door in areas of the borough identified as the highest risk of flooding, offering free, water saving equipment for homes and gardens. 

The campaign targeted areas identified as high risk of flooding. The first phase focused on the Fillebrook Catchment area of Wood Street, Forest, Upper Walthamstow and Leytonstone wards. The second phase, which has just been completed, focused on the area along the Dagenham Brook, including High Street, William Morris, Markhouse, Lea Bridge and parts of Leyton.  

By building flood resilience collectively, street by street across local communities in these catchment areas we can hold back rainwater from entering the drainage network and cut the risk of flooding, especially during heavy storms and flash flooding, such as we witnessed and some local people fell victim to, in July 2021. 

Cllr Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Climate and Air Quality said: “This campaign was a real partnership between the Council, residents and local community groups who worked hard to raise awareness of what we were doing. I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who made it a success. 

“A thousand water butts are now in place in areas that had previously been affected by flooding meaning we are building the resilience of the borough against future extreme weather patterns.  

“Climate change is happening now and is happening locally. We can see this in the fact that flash flooding is becoming more common and is impacting severely on people’s homes and livelihoods. We will continue to work and be proactive and tackling this threat wherever we can.” 

Tackling the climate crisis and securing net zero in carbon emissions is part of Mission Waltham Forest, the Council’s ambitious plan to improve life for people living and working in the borough.  

Cllr Loakes continued: “Our Lower Flood campaign is a great example of the resolve of our residents and communities to work with the council to identify and support solutions that are helping improve our climate resilience.

“Our residents overwhelmingly support action to reduce our climate impact and want to be part of the change. It is time for us to harness this resolve by equipping residents with the tools to make the impact they want to see. 

“The threat of the climate emergency cannot be understated, but together, we can deliver the solutions towards net-zero emissions and a greener, more sustainable borough.”