What are Water Level Management Boards?

Water Level Management Boards (also known as Internal Drainage Boards) are an integral part of water level management in the UK. Each Board is a local public authority established in areas of special drainage need in England and Wales. They have permissive powers to manage water levels within their respective drainage districts. They undertake works to reduce flood risk to people and property and manage water levels to meet local needs. WLMBs can trace their history back as far as the time of Henry III who established a commission for drainage of Romney Marsh.

Today, there are 114 Boards in Great Britain, 113 in England and 3 in Wales (2 cross the border). They cover 1.2 million hectares of England (9.7% of the total land area of the country) and 28,500 hectares of Wales (1.4% of the total land area of the country). They play a key role in reducing flood risk to over 600,000 people and nearly 900,000 properties. They operate and maintain over 500 pumping stations, 22,000 km of watercourse, 175 automatic weed screen cleaners and numerous sluices and weirs.

For more information please see the Association of Drainage Authorities website.

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