Skip to content

Flood and coastal erosion

We are responsible for developing flood and coastal risk management policy in Wales.

We largely fund flood and coastal activities undertaken by local authorities and Natural Resources Wales (NRW) (external link) across Wales.

Key facts

  • Around 200,000 properties in Wales are at risk of flooding from rivers and the sea.
  • Thousands more properties are at risk of surface water flooding.
  • It is estimated that coastal erosion is occurring along around 346km (23%) of the Welsh coastline
  • The Welsh coastline is protected by 415km of constructed coastal defence
  • We are investing over £256 million in flood and coastal erosion risk management over the life of this Government (2016-2021).

Who is responsible for what in Wales

Welsh Government

We are responsible for developing flood and coastal erosion risk management policy. We fund flood and coastal activities undertaken by Natural Resources Wales and local authorities.

Natural Resources Wales (NRW)

NRW provide an oversight role in relation to all flood and coastal risk management in Wales. They are responsible for managing flooding from main rivers, reservoirs and the sea and provide technical advice and support. They also lead on national initiatives such as Flood Awareness Wales (external link) and providing flood warnings across the country.

Lead Local Flood Authorities

In Wales local authorities act as Lead Local Flood Authorities and are responsible for managing flooding from ordinary watercourses (streams and rivers not classed as ‘main rivers’), from surface water and ground water. Local Authorities are responsible for:

  • the preparation of Flood Risk Management Plans,
  • the investigation of flooding incidents in their area.

Water and Sewerage Companies

Water and sewerage companies are responsible for flooding from water and sewerage systems including sewer flooding, burst pipes or water mains and floods caused by system failures.

Future

As a result of Climate Change, we are likely to experience more severe storms and see a raise in the sea level in the future. This will lead to an increased risk of flooding.

Building bigger and better defences and drainage systems is not always possible, and we need to look to alternative approaches to manage flood risk including raising public awareness and land management.