The temporary covering by water of land not normally covered by water. Coastal, fluvial and surface water flood sources are considered here. Note: Groundwater flooding is not considered.

Flood and Water Management Act (2010)

The Flood and Water Management Act provides for better, more comprehensive management of flood risk for people, homes and businesses, helps safeguard community groups from unaffordable rises in surface water drainage charges, and protects water supplies to the consumer.


Government guidance and information on flood risk management and surface water management

Flood disadvantage

Flood disadvantage shows how flood-related social vulnerability combines with the potential for exposure to flooding. It accounts for both the likelihood of coming into contact with a flood and also the severity of negative impacts on the health and wellbeing of local communities that could occur as a result of that contact.



Flood groups or flood action groups

Flood Action Groups are ‘grass-roots’ community groups which provide a link between local communities and the range of partnership authorities involved in flood risk management. The groups help to support knowledge exchange and the adoption and maintenance of emergency response and wider adaptation measures. The National Flood Forum has a step-by-step guide to how to set up a flood action group.


Adapted from National Flood Forum, 2014

Flood hazard-exposure

Maps of flood hazard-exposure broadly show where flooding is more likely. They are based on the proportion of land area in a particular neighbourhood likely to be exposed to a moderate or significant flood event.



Flood prone area

An area of land that could be flooded by any source of flooding (used here interchangeable with floodplain).

Flood resilience technologies

Technology which provides resilience to flooding, e.g. technologies with the ability to resist flooding and to enable protection to/from flooding.


Six Steps to Flood Resilience

Flood risk

Conventionally, the flood risk of an element at risk is considered to be a function of flood hazard (chance of occurring), flood exposure (extent and nature of contact) and flood vulnerability (susceptibility to damage). However, it can be used to represent the likelihood and extent of exposure, as in the case of Environment Agency flood risk maps.

Flood socio-spatial vulnerability

Flood socio-spatial vulnerability refers to mapped social vulnerability with respect to flooding. The map shows how the personal, social and environmental factors which help to explain uneven impacts on people and communities come together in particular neighbourhoods. It shows where negative social impacts are more likely. This information can then be combined with the likelihood of events occurring to understand how this social vulnerability and potential for negative impacts translates into disadvantage.


The area of land where water flows in time of flood (arising from any source of flooding, coastal, fluvial or surface water) or would flow but for the presence of structures and other flood controls. The limits of floodplain are notionally infinite, and are therefore defined by the maximum flood extent resulting from a given return period storm. Here, for practical reasons, the floodplain is defined by the 1:1000-year return period in the absence of any defences that may exist.  

Fluvial flooding

Flooding from a watercourse when water from an established river or drainage channel spills onto the floodplain.

Fuel poverty

A household is defined as fuel poor in England if it has low income and high energy costs i.e. if a household:


1. has required fuel costs that are above average (the national median level); and


2. were they to spend that amount they would be left with a residual income below the official poverty line.


This new definition follows the Hills review of fuel poverty for the Government and replaces the old definition of fuel poverty from the Homes and Energy Conservation Act (2000) and the UK’s first Fuel Poverty Strategy (2001) whereby a household was defined as ‘fuel poor’ if it needed to spend more than 10% of its income on fuel to maintain a satisfactory heating regime.


Fuel poverty statistics

Fuel poverty gap

The Hills review proposed that the depth of fuel poverty is measured by the fuel poverty gap. This is the extent to which a household’s total fuel costs are above the energy cost threshold or, if near the sloping income threshold, has costs above the latter.


ACE, CSE and Richard Moore (2012) Improving the Hills approach to measuring fuel poverty