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Roles and Responsibilities

General roles and responsibilities

Responsibility for flood risk management is shared amongst a number of different organisations and individuals. The main organisations with responsibility are known as Risk Management Authorities (RMAs). They are the LLFA, the Highway Authority, the EA, the District Councils, the IDB, and the water authority. Each of the RMAs has a range of defined responsibilities and they work closely together in order to ensure that efforts are co-ordinated.

In addition, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) sets national policy and provides grant funding for the EA and LAs, and Regional Flood and Coastal Committees (RFCCs) bring together and co-ordinate the RMAs.

Riparian owners and those at risk of flooding have responsibility to work with the RMAs to help manage flood risk.

Summary of responsibilities for flood risk management

Lead Local Flood Authority

Worcestershire County Council – (some responsibilities delegated to the district councils)

  • Responsible for: Surface water, Groundwater, Ordinary Watercourses (smaller rivers, streams and ditches)

In carrying out our role we have a number of key responsibilities, these include:

  • Developing, maintaining and implementing a Local Flood Risk Management Strategy for Worcestershire which will include risks from surface water run-off, groundwater and ordinary watercourses.
  • Establishing local management and governance arrangements with other key stakeholders to ensure delivery of effective joined up management of flood risk.
  • Being a statutory consultee on all major planning applications with surface water drainage implications. Visit our Flood Risk and Development page
  • Fulfilling the requirements of the EU Floods Directive by completing a Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment.
  • Preparing Flood Risk Management Plans for areas of greatest risk.
  • Establishing and maintaining a register of flood risk management assets with a record of each structure, together with details of ownership and state of repair.

Highway Authority

Worcestershire County Council

Environment Agency (Main rivers)

Responsible for: Main watercourses

District Councils

Internal Drainage Board

Lower Severn Internal Drainage Board (opens in a new window)

  • Responsible for: Ordinary watercourses within its boundaries

Water Authority

Severn Trent Water Ltd (opens in a new window).

  • Responsible for: Burst water pipes and sewers

Riparian owners - Managing watercourses on your land

If you have a ditch or watercourse either on or adjacent to your property, you are probably responsible, under common law, for its maintenance. As such, you are a “riparian owner”. The following guide will offer advice on how to maintain it to ensure you are carrying out your responsibilities as a riparian owner and reduce the risk of flooding for your community.

Download A Guide for Riparian Owners - Managing your ditches and watercourses

See GOV.UK - Owning a watercourse (opens in a new window)

  • Responsible for: Ordinary Watercourses

Home and business owners

For contact details of the above organisations see our Useful Contacts page.

Worcestershire County Council Roles and Responsibilities

Our other responsibilities as a Lead Local Flood Authority include the following:

  • Investigating and reporting on significant flood events in the county.
  • Establishing and maintaining a register for all significant flood risk assets in the county.
  • Ensuring that new developments are designed and built in a sustainable manner which does not increase flood risk, and reduces flood risk whenever possible.
  • The power to request information relating to flooding from any organisation or individual.
  • The power to designate significant flood risk assets or features to ensure they are managed properly and continue to protect people and property from flooding.

We are currently working together with partners and stakeholders through a joint Strategic Flood Risk Management Board and with other relevant organisations to develop the Worcestershire Local Flood Risk Management Strategy.