Responding to climate change is a key consideration in the City’s Climate Change Strategy and in the City Plan.
A Local Climate Impact Profile study looked into the impacts on the city of the 34 severe weather incidents locally between 2000-2010. This tool is designed to enable local authorities to understand how their council services are affected by historical climate events and how they can learn from such experience to adapt to a future climate. Basic analysis of Climate Projections has been undertaken.
The Sussex Resilience Forum actively monitors climate change impact risks such as flooding and heat wave and manages the Community Risk Register for the whole of Sussex.
Serious flooding in England in 2000, again in the summer of 2007 and in the winter of 2013/14 has significantly raised the profile of this issue right across local government and emergency planning.
A city Strategic Flood Risk Assessment was produced in March 2008 and updated in 2011 in line with national policy on development and flood risk. This will be regularly reviewed to ensure it contains the latest data, planning policy and legislation.
A major incident emergency planning exercise was held in winter 2008/9 to test planning – in this case for a tidal wave hitting the coast.
The city’s Surface Water Management Plan (flood modelling) was completed in 2013 and the Environment Agency published a Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment for the city, with Flood Hazard and risk maps and a Flood Risk Management Plan to follow.
A Brighton Marina to River Adur Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management strategy is underway and is due to be completed after consultation in 2014.
Brighton Marina to Newhaven coastal strategy: consultants are being appointed to review existing strategies and make recommendations for areas to be updated.
To help customers save water and reduce their water footprint, Southern Water has installed 80,000 water meters in Brighton and Hove. Metered households use between 10 to18 per cent less water in comparison to un-metered properties.
A drought with hosepipe bans in 2011/12 led to the formation of a council officer drought group which temporarily developed into a Sustainable Water Officer Group to help draw up the Sustainable Water Action Plan under One Planet Living, working with the Environment Agency
Southern Water invested £15 million over three years in replacing 35 miles of old Victorian water mains across the city with modern piping and the leakage rate is relatively low
The City Plan is seeking to introduce strong sustainable building standards which will require minimum levels of water efficiency performance in new development.
The council has completed a review of farming activities on the City Downland Estate to better understand the relationship between farming operations and groundwater quality. A project team of key stakeholders was established, including the City Council, The Environment Agency, Southern Water, Smiths Gore and Plumpton Agricultural College.
The majority of farms on the City Downland Estate volunteered to be independently appraised to ensure accurate application of fertilisers and the improvement of chemical and oil storage facilities. The project team concluded that the City Downland Estate tenants were farming in accordance with current legislation and best practice thereby minimising the potential risk of nitrate leaching into the chalk aquifer holding much of the City’s groundwater.
A new wastewater treatment works at Peacehaven is operational, reducing sewage pollution in the sea.
Beachy Head West, the chalk shelf lying offshore between Eastbourne and Brighton Marina, was designated a Marine Conservation Zone in November 2013, one of just 27 nationwide. It contains some of the best examples of chalk habitat in the south east region.