Whitesands project - natural flood management
Alternatives to man-made flood defences can sometimes help to reduce flooding impact.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) look at how natural flood management (NFM) can help, as part of a group of measures, to reduce the impact of frequent flooding.
Natural flood management uses the environment to store or slow down flood water. The planting of woodlands, wetland creation, river restoration and managing the area between high tide and low tide are some of the measures that can help. In addition to benefitting flood control, NFM can also can also increase biodiversity, water quality, be more resilient to climate change and offer chances for recreation.
As part of the Whitesands flood protection scheme the Project Team investigated the use of land upstream of Dumfries for the storage of floodwater during a flood.
The modelling work showed that while there might be some benefit during minor flooding, it wouldn't help in a major flood. The use of agricultural land upstream was therefore discounted as part of the scheme.
SEPA, however, continue to look at Natural Flood Management opportunities across the Nith catchment area, we will monitor their findings to see if there are benefits of NFM on flood level reductions at Whitesands, but evidence has shown that to prevent flooding in Dumfries defences along the Whitesands must be provided.