The aim of the Blue Heart project, led by East Sussex County Council, is to build a smart water level management system that warns of heavy rainfall, calculates the best response and issues flood warnings and alerts, ensuring the residents of the study area are better informed and better protected against flooding.
Feedback from the public consultation will help the county council and partner agencies including the Environment Agency, Southern Water, Pevensey and Cuckmere Water Level Management Board and local authorities, better understand local flood risk and how people are using bodies of water, watercourses and drainage systems in the area.
Cllr Claire Dowling, East Sussex County Council’s lead member for Transport and Environment, said: “We know the adverse impact flooding can have on homes and businesses and the huge benefit of a water management system that mitigates the risk cannot be underestimated.
“Having a real understanding of how people interact with water in the area and how they are affected by flooding, flood risk and management will help us ensure that any system put in place works for everyone.
“There is a complex network of agencies and organisations involved in the management of water and flood risk and it can often be confusing. This project is about those agencies and the public working together to improve resilience and reduce the effect of flooding in Eastbourne and south Wealden.”
She added: “The more views and information we can gather through the public consultation, the more successful this project can be.”
The six-year project is one of 25 to secure funding from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ innovation fund, and will help build a better understanding of the complex interaction between rivers, tidal, groundwater, the public sewer network and surface water.
The water management system developed as part of the Blue Heart project will make better use of watercourses, ponds and lakes, so they are ready to contain any incoming storm water, without negatively impacting the environment.
For more information about the Blue Heart project and to take part in the consultation, visit https://new.eastsussex.gov.uk/environment/flooding/blue-heart
The public consultation ends on Monday, May 2.