European water managers meet in Yorkshire

European water managers meet in Yorkshire

The new Laxton Pumping Station, which reduces the risk of flooding across 58km2 to the north of the Humber Estuary, will be visited by EUWMA delegates. (Ouse & Humber Drainage Board)


Today (9 September) a major annual meeting of water managers from across Europe are meeting in York, UK.

The European Union of Water Management Associations (EUWMA) are being hosted by ADA, the association for drainage, water level and flood risk management authorities throughout the UK.

EUWMA, represents public, local and regional water management organisations from across Europe. Through EUWMA, ADA shares ideas and thinking about flooding water resources, and irrigation with similar national representative bodies and the European Union.

EUWMA’s members represent over 8,600 individual organisations in total, who manage water levels across more than 50 million hectares. These predominantly low lying parts of Europe have much in common, being under threat from tidal and inland flooding and dependent upon land drainage to sustain land use and communities. Equally, these areas have a high environmental interest, which in many cases has been created by drainage works, and require continued careful water level management to sustain them.

At the meeting ADA’s Chairperson, Robert Caudwell, accepted the rotating Presidency of EUWMA. Setting out a desire for water managers to share their innovations for integrating solutions that tackle flood risk, drought, and improving the water environment.

Robert Caudwell, Chair of ADA, said: “Through EUWMA we see the extent to which organisations from right across Europe are tackling similar problems and considering the same issues. By coming together we can learn from one another to better sustain our prescious water resources and reduce flood risk in a changing climate.”

Tomorrow (10 September) the group will visit sites across the East Riding of Yorkshire to learn more about its novel water challenges. Including the large scale flood alleviation scheme being built at Cottingham and Orchard Park to the west of Hull. The £20 million partnership between East Riding of Yorkshire Council and Hull City Council is constructing a series of nine lagoons that will store rainwater during severe wet weather events, reducing the surface water flood risk for up to 4,000 residential properties and 113,416m² of existing commercial floor-space.

The group will also learn of the challenges facing the Humber Estuary when they visit one of two new flood defence pumping stations built for the Ouse & Humber Drainage Board at Laxton. The pumps were recently constructed with the help of investment from the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership, to benefit an area the size of a small city (58km2), providing drainage benefits to the M62 Motorway, and reducing flood risk to around 1,000 properties and businesses, in addition to some of the most productive farmland in Yorkshire. The area suffered significantly from flooding during the summer of 2007.

The new pumps have a combined capacity of 2.4 tonnes of water per second, together capable of emptying four Olympic sized swimming pools in just over an hour. Utilising fish friendly pumps enables the passage of European eels, amongst other species, into the catchment from the Humber Estuary. Upstream of the pumping stations, the drains have been widened and linked enabling each pumping station to serve a larger catchment.

Andrew Mclachlan, Chief Executive of the Ouse & Humber Drainage Board said: “Some of the UK’s most complex, pervasive and cumulative flooding risks underly our beautiful county. We’re proud to show the fantastic work of Yorkshire’s flood risk professionals to our European colleagues.”


Further information



Ouse & Humber Drainage Board:

Cottingham and Orchard Park Flood Alleviation Scheme:

Howdenshire Flood Alleviation Scheme:

For press inquiries please contact Ian Moodie, Technical Manager, ADA on 07827 276 125