The Somerset Water Management Partnership provides an opportunity for a group of stakeholders to meet to consider water matters of significance affecting, or with the potential to affect, the communities, landscape, economy and ecology in the catchment areas of the Parrett, Brue, Axe and their tributaries.

The Partnership provides a forum for consultation to take place, debate issues and test whether a consensus can be achieved, and if so to then communicate it.

Who we are

The partnership was officially launched in April 2007.

The full membership is:

  • Somerset Council
  • The Environment Agency
  • National Farmers Union
  • Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group
  • Somerset Wildlife Trust
  • Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
  • Somerset Consortium of Drainage Boards
  • South West Association of Drainage Authorities
  • Somerset Waterways Development Trust
  • Wessex Water
  • Natural England
  • ‘catchment reps’ representing local communities.

The partnership meets quarterly. Members of the public can attend as observers and ask questions.

Our vision

Somerset Water Management Partnership’s current vision, aims and objectives were agreed at its meeting on 28 April 2009, as follows:

‘Vision’ Statement

A sustainable approach to water and land use management that, wherever possible

  • benefits the social, economic and cultural life of the catchments
  • conserves and enhances the natural environment

Aims and objectives

  • To work in partnership to develop solutions to the problems faced by Somerset’s distinct water environment.
  • To increase awareness and understanding of water issues within partner organisations and the community.
  • To work in partnership to promote integrated, sustainable land use planning and resource management.
  • To promote a whole-catchment approach to water management and flood prevention, and specifically input to the preparation of Environment Agency Plans and Strategies.
  • To work in partnership to promote wetland wildlife and archaeological interests, including ‘favourable condition’ status, taking into account the needs of farming and other industries.
  • To identify and promote potential partnership projects.

Topics for discussion

Topics for discussion over the last 24 months have included

  • EA’s Catchment Flood Management Plans for Somerset
  • SCC Flood and Water Management Strategic Plan
  • Strategic Flood Management Partnership – feedback and scrutiny
  • Flood Risk Modelling, Somerset
  • Catchment Management for Protection of Water
  • Water Framework Directive: Draft River Basin Management Plan, South West River Basin District; Catchment Management: including Upper Tone catchment pilot
  • Defra Multi-Objective Flood Management Demonstration Project – Holnicote Estate, Somerset
  • Somerset Levels and Moors – proposed Nature Improvement Area
  • Ecosystem Services: Trade-off in ecosystem services of the Somerset Levels and Moors wetlands; Payments for Ecosystem Services; Brue Valley Ecosystem Services study
  • Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems
  • Severn Tidal Power – Flooding Implications
  • Severn Estuary Flood Risk Management Strategy
  • North Devon and Somerset Shoreline Management Plan 2
  • Farming Floodplains for the Future (Staffordshire Washlands Partnership)
  • Bridgwater to Burnham-On-Sea (Parrett Estuary) Flood Risk Management Strategy
  • Norton Fitzwarren flood alleviation Dam
  • Defra grant bid (Multi-objective flood management demonstration project) – Halse Water Catchment, Expression of Interest
  • MAP – Multi-agency Project to Achieve Favourable Condition on the Somerset Levels and Moors
  • Overview of Wetland Vision, RSPB Wetland Vision Work, SWT Wetland Vision Work
  • WAVE project – update
  • Joining It All Together – overview of EA plans and policies
  • Steart Peninsula managed realignment
  • Pathfinder project – supporting communities in planning for and adapting to coastal change
  • Water Level Management Plans
  • Somerset Water Festival
  • Somerset Levels and Moors Local Action for Rural Communities Programme
  • Parrett surge barrier
  • Parc naturel regional des Marais du Contentin et du Bessin, Normandy – project ideas for collaborative work
  • Catchment sensitive farming – Somerset update
  • Dredging trials, Somerset
  • Demonstration test catchments – a case study for integrated catchment management
  • Review of vision, aims and objectives of the Partnership

Ongoing consultations

Defra Summary of ongoing consultations:

  • National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy consultation
  • Future funding for flood and coastal erosion risk management consultation

We have a lot of very detailed information about the areas of Somerset that are at risk of flooding, but we would like your help to inform our work. If you have experienced flooding in Somerset, and have information, pictures or video footage that you would be happy to share with us, then we would be very pleased to hear from you.

We will use the information you provide to form a detailed picture of flood risk across Somerset. This will help us understand the communities that are at greatest risk and allow measures to be put in place to prevent the risks were possible. It will also help the communities involved to consider necessary precautions to safeguard their land and properties.

Unfortunately, we will never be able to stop flooding from happening, but we can try to better understand the risks in an attempt to reduce the danger to people and property. We have started detailed surface water studies in Taunton and Minehead so that we can gain a greater understanding which will help us plan for major flood risk. We have also started a countywide review of flooding ‘hotspots’ because if we can improve our understanding of the causes of flooding, we can try to limit it where possible in the future.


Our policies relating to flood risk management are contained in the Flood and Water Management Strategic Business Plan which can be found in Downloads.

Laws and regulation

Last reviewed: May 29, 2024 by Ian

Next review due: November 29, 2024

Back to top