New Guidance published - Design, Operation and Adaptation of Reservoirs for Flood Storage

This report provides a comprehensive guide on the development and use of flood storage reservoirs, drawing on good practice in UK and international reservoir planning, design, operation and maintenance.

The guidance is aimed at a wide range of stakeholders including planners, developers, reservoir owners, asset managers, designers, contractors, regulatory engineers / advisers, environmentalists, academic institutions and the public.

Where use is made of flood storage reservoirs, application of the guidance will help to achieve long-term improvement in flood risk management and so help protect human life, property, critical infrastructure and the environment.

The guidance describes contemporary best practice and experience of the design, operation and maintenance of flood storage reservoirs. Existing reservoirs formed originally to secure reliable water supply or to provide some other function can be adapted to provide a flood storage function.

The report covers practical considerations when modifying the use of existing reservoirs for flood storage, but does not consider policy aspects. Case studies and images are used to illustrate best practice and to share practical knowledge from past and existing schemes - their successes, failures and challenges.

Where available, the report references more detailed guidance - drawing on international practices and UK strategy documents, codes, standards and engineering guides.

The report is presented in 6 sections, together with a supporting appendix of more detailed technical information. Text is arranged to guide readers to the sections most relevant to their interests.

The contents include:

  • Planning and preliminary design - describes the typical steps required to develop preliminary design proposals and presents planning and environmental legal considerations,
  • Detailed design - considers design standards, new dams and the modification of existing flood storage dams, landscape and environmental design,
  • Operation and maintenance – describes the requirements for typical structures and devices used in flood storage reservoirs and presents guidance on improving operational reliability and effective monitoring,
  • Adaptation of existing reservoirs for flood storage - gives examples of dual-use reservoir operation, explains the benefits and challenges of adaptation to flood storage and considers the use of obsolete water supply reservoirs for flood risk management,
  • The guidance also contains advice on health and safety management from design to operation and maintenance.

An electronic copy of the guide is freely available from the following link:


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