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The Flood Hazard Research Centre at Middlesex University London has pioneered research on flood loss assessment methodologies for over 30 years. The flood impact methodologies, models, data, and tools developed from the research are considered industry best practice.



Flooding causes significant social and economic losses, with 5.2 million properties in England alone at some degree of flood risk. Estimations of the flood risk and impacts, as well as the benefits realised from interventions, are required to justify investment in flood risk management.



Pioneering research on flood loss assessment methodologies has been undertaken by staff at the FHRC since its inception in 1970. A body of research was undertaken between 2000-2020 across a number of interconnected areas including: flood loss assessment methodologies, the impact of flooding on people and policy, and decision-making evaluations.



The research is frequently used in policy documentation for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Environment Agency (EA), Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and Natural Resource Wales. The methodologies produced from the research have facilitated all central government investment in flood risk management interventions since 2014.

At-risk communities are the key beneficiaries of the research through prioritisation of investment in flood and coastal erosion risk management and the implementation of flood risk management measures. Over 720 schemes have been implemented between 2015 and 2020 in England, and 700,000 people have benefitted from reduced flood risk. Between 2016-2021, over 45,000 properties in Wales and 10,000 properties in Scotland have benefitted from flood defence investment.

The Hull Flood Frontage defences and Oxford flood risk management schemes are two examples of major interventions which have been evaluated and developed using Middlesex research outputs and data.

The research is routinely used by flood risk management professionals and policymakers. 146 organisations have used the loss assessment methodologies between 2014-2020, 28 courses have been run for EA, SEPA, and Local Authority flood risk managers, and 499 flood risk professionals have been trained in FHRC’s approaches to flood loss assessment.


More information

Institution: Middlesex University London

Researchers: Dr Edmund Penning-Rowsell, Dr Sally Priest, Dr Christophe Viavattene, Sue Tapsell, Professor Dennis Parker, Damon Owen, Sylvia Tunstall


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Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) (2023) Reducing the impact of flooding on society​.   Last accessed on: <date>