FD2020 - Regionalised impacts of climate change on flood flows

Theme:Strategy and Policy Development
Project status:Completed
Start date:01/10/2005
End date:30/03/2010
  • Flood Defence,
  • Land,
  • Environmental Protection,
  • Flood and Coastal Defence,
  • Policy Development
  • Centre for Ecology and Hydrology


The primary objective of FD2020 was to assess the suitability of the October 2006 FCDPAG3 guidance on climate change. This guidance requires an allowance of 20% to be added to peak flows for any period between 2025 and 2115 for any location across Britain. This guidance was considered precautionary and its derivation reflected the evidence available at that time. FD2020 has been designed to increase the evidence base and the research findings suggest that regional, rather than national, guidelines for changes to peak flows due to climate change may be more appropriate.

The research has led to a number of key findings in relation to the project objectives. First, the catchment-based analysis suggests that the current allowance can no longer be considered precautionary as a change of 20% does not encompass the majority of catchment changes in flood flows. Second, there is strong evidence that catchment response to climate change (in terms of change in flood flows) is influences by catchment properties. This implies that a single national allowance for climate change might not be appropriate and that more "regionalised" allowances, depending on catchment type, could be developed.