Natural flood management

Overview of our multi-objective, holistic and sustainable solutions

Natural flood management (NFM) is an approach that seeks to reduce flood risk through implementing a range of measures that reinstate or reproduce components of the natural hydrological function present in unimpacted river systems. cbec aims to develop multi-objective, holistic and sustainable solutions to channel floodplain management issues. By working with natural processes, NFM tackles issues of flood risk while being sensitive to the physical and ecological condition of river systems.

Demonstrated track record of success

Our expertise in sustainable flood risk management is demonstrated by successful projects throughout the UK. Critical to this success has been our experience of identifying and meeting the multi-objective needs of flood risk management, ecosystem enhancement, infrastructure, urban development and agriculture.

Our approach to NFM:

  • aims to manage the causes of flooding rather than provide localised protection
  • integrates our experience of hydraulics, hydrology, geomorphology, design techniques, graphic design and field services to identify and specify effective opportunities for NFM measures throughout a catchment
  • manipulates the generation, transport, synchronicity and storage of flood flows throughout a river catchment for optimum flood risk benefit to identified receptor areas
  • prioritises receptor areas for protection (e.g., relating to risk to human life or commercial value)
  • applies pioneering alternative solutions to hard engineering through the use of more ecologically sensitive approaches.

The NFM measures we apply may be divided into three general categories, with coherent linkages between them, including:

  • land use management – encouraging run-off reduction through greater interception of rainfall and flow in generation areas
  • floodplain and channel management – promoting the storage and slowing the flow of floodwaters within the active river corridor
  • sediment management – managing the excessive delivery of sediments to and storage within active channels.

Other focus areas