In the UK, increased risk of flooding, including surface water flooding, is one of the biggest threats from climate change. It is unlikely to be addressed sufficiently by existing hard infrastructure. The Somerset SPONGE project, which is a part of SPONGE 2020, is working on aspects of these effects. We are collaborating with Somerset County Council, and other stakeholders, to develop innovative, nature-based solutions that address surface water flooding and related problems in different urban areas in Somerset.
SPONGE 2020 is a European Project, funded through Interreg 2 Seas and the European Regional Development Fund. It aims to increase the capacity of areas in the 2 Seas region (that means coastal regions along the Southern North Sea and the Channel area, with four different member states involved: England, France, the Netherlands and Belgium) to adapt to climate change and its water-related effects. Overall, the adaptation capacity of the region will be increased by at least 25.000m3 of storage through innovative solutions, at the same time saving costs of 10-50% compared to traditional adaptation investments.