In the UK, climate change will cause increases in sea level, temperature and rainfall. It also increases the chance of and severity of more extreme storm events.

This is why we are acting now to reduce the chance of flooding in the Pix Brook. We are also helping the community become more resilient to any future flooding.

The Environment Agency predicts that there will be an increase in peak rainfall by 25 – 40 % by 2070. The Pix Brook is in the Upper and Bedford Ouse Management Catchment. Here, the Environment Agency predicts there will be an increase in peak river flows of 19 – 58% by 2080. That’s a huge increase in water in our river.

The urban nature of the Pix Brook catchment makes it responsive to heavy rainfall events. It is affected by river (fluvial), surface water and groundwater flooding.

Surface water flooding is due to rainfall hitting impermeable surfaces. The only way for the water to drain away is through a complex system of pipes, open channels or overland.  When there is a lot of rain both the surface water drainage and sewer network can become overwhelmed leading to surface water flooding.

During heavy rainfall the surface water drainage network discharges large volumes of water into the Pix Brook. This is alongside its natural water flows via its tributaries and below ground flows. This results in the brook overtopping its banks and inundating the surrounding floodplain.