The feasibility of domestic raintanks contributing to urban flood resilience (Webinar)

UK Climate Resilience Programme Webinar Series 2021

Date: 10 February

Speakers: Liz Sharp (University of Sheffield), Christine Sefton, Ruth Quinn and Virginia Stovin; stakeholder response from Lee Pitcher (Yorkshire Water)

Chair:  Kate Lonsdale (Co-Champion, UKCR)

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This talk examines the feasibility of developing a domestic raintank programme to address urban flood resilience.  Drawing on a co-productive study combining qualitative investigation of flood risk authorities and the public with modelling of raintank functionality, we ask: (1) Is there potential for widespread uptake of raintanks and what would be needed in a raintank promotion programme to maximise uptake? (2) What sorts of raintanks could effectively contribute to flood risk mitigation and be acceptable? And (3) is investment in a raintank promotion programme a feasible future option for urban flood managers?  As we will report, we found widespread appetite for a raintank programme, with enthusiasm for a community-oriented programme of promotion. While our public interviewees had little time for smart raintanks, simple or dual function raintanks were found to meet households’ different needs, with interviewees indicating that they would be willing to empty their raintank ahead of a forecast storm. Modelling found that both dual and active systems could yield advantages to households and flood authorities, indicating that the appropriate system should be selected according to local circumstances. Finally, while a raintank programme was attractive to the flood authorities, to date, community activity has been seen as supplementary rather than central to their role.  The research concluded that while a dual function raintank project is feasible, it is only likely to come to fruition if a transformation in the relations between the flood risk authorities and the public can be achieved.

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