Somerset Levels Adaptation Pathways Initiative

Building Resilience to Climate Change Impacts on the Somerset Levels

Country: UK


Climate Sense is partnering with a range of stakeholders affected by increasingly frequent and serious flooding in the UK’s Somerset Levels. Stakeholders are from the public, provide and third sector. The challenge is complicated with a range of individual stakeholders either directly at risk or affected by the loss of services.

The Somerset River Authority’s Economic Impact Assessment of the Somerset floods showed that the economic cost of the floods to Somerset alone was up to £147 million, with the South West region significantly affected. Key findings included:

  • Half of all Somerset businesses were badly affected by the floods.
  • 86% of Somerset businesses were badly affected by road closures.
  • 75% of Plymouth businesses were badly affected by transport disruption caused by the floods.
  • The impact on residential property was up to £20 million.
  • The impact on public mental health was “devastating.”
  • Environment Agency, emergency services and local government response costs were up to £19.3 million.
  • The impact on the railway is estimated at up to £21.3 million.
  • Over 80 roads were closed at a cost of up to £15 million to the local economy.

Impacts not covered here include the long term impacts on insurance premiums and property values.

The approach for this initiative is therefore designed to support a wide range of stakeholders. Some are supported to review their direct risk and adaptation options through Adaptation Pathway analysis and planning. Others are supported to understand the indirect risks that they are vulnerable to and to both build resilience for their individual organisation where possible and create an effective enabling environment for building systemic resilience e.g. lobbying key decision makers in support of the initiative.

Climate Sense Tools

Adaptation Pathways and Decision Systems Mapping

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