Environmental change is likely to result in greater flood risk, both from surface flooding and from groundwater flooding. Rising groundwater was a significant causative factor for the summer 2007 floods in Oxford. Adopting an integrated catchment approach to flooding could lead to more accurate flood predictions and better-informed policy on flood-risk management within the Thames Basin.
To fully understand the potential impacts of flooding on society, the economy and the environment, the role played by geological and hydrogeological factors needs to be recognised. Equally, the function of human activity must be considered, including land use, human interaction with the subsurface and wider policies on surface water management.
In addition to the immediate impact of flooding, broader issues should be taken into account, including the potential for flood events to remobilise contaminants, induce geological hazards and for flood potential to sterilise natural resources. To ensure that the results of flood modelling provide an effective resource for decision making and planning in the region, appropriate methodologies for the communication of uncertainty must be employed.
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