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CIRIA hunts for research team to develop NFM guidance

CIRIA is looking to develop a guide for the delivery of natural flood management (NFM). Research teams interested in delivering the technical work to develop the guide are being asked to express their interest before competitive tendering begins.

CIRIA says interest in NFM is on the rise. However, for it to have a significant impact on flood risk management, the schemes need to be technically robust and simple to deliver, so it has launched a proposal for the development of a guide to provide confidence in NFM measures’ ability to manage flood risk and deliver multiple benefits.

The guidance will build on existing frameworks and case studies, developing formal design criteria to ensure NFM projects deliver the desired outcomes. It will support stakeholder engagement; an inclusive, pragmatic and formal design framework; appropriate decision making and the delivery of robust NFM measures.

It will initially focus on four key areas, identified in an Environment Agency survey last year, as priority areas for any NFM guidance:

  • Floodplain and wetland restoration
  • Flow path interception on farms (ditches, fields, paths, tracks and roads)
  • Leaky woody barriers/ dams
  • Runoff attenuation features.

Although the guide will target these measures initially, it will allow for later updates to incorporate other measures. While also increasing confidence in NFM, the guide has a range of other aims including: formalising the NFM planning and design process, supporting local delivery of NFM, mainstreaming the use of NFM and saving resources by reducing the need for a trial-and-error approach in developing NFM.

CIRIA is currently looking for expressions of interest from research teams interested in tendering to deliver the technical work for the proposal. Subject to receiving funding for the proposal, this process will begin with a pre-qualification stage followed by tender and an interview.

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