A local flood action group the West Felpham Flood Action Assembly (WFFAA) has visited the Aldingbourne Rife Pumping Station. Jane Smeaton, Chair of WFFAA, said that the invitation came about through our partnership working with the Environment Agency. At our last multi-agency meeting WFFAA put on the agenda understanding how the Aldingbourne Rife was managed and as part of this the Environment Agency issued the invitation.
Jane explained that it is important for WFFAA to understand how water is managed in the area covered by the group, and for WFFAA to know what constitutes normal running as only then will we be able to identify any potential problems that may arise and be able to prepare for them. The Aldingbourne Rife was not implicated in the June 2012 flooding but it is a significant body of water so WFFAA needs to understand its management.
As well as having a serious purpose the visit which lasted for over an hour and also included representatives from Arun District Council and West Sussex County Council was thoroughly enjoyable. Jane said that the Environment Agency were great hosts who explained the workings to us in some detail and this was fascinating as well as educational. WFFAA will shortly add an account of the visit with photographs to our website, WFFAA.wordpress.com
Dave Bonner from the Environment Agency who organised and led the visit said that the Environment Agency is keen to work with communities and to help them understand the Agency’s work. He said that if there is sufficient demand from the community he would be happy to organise another visit. Anyone who would be interested in joining a future visit should contact WFFAA by e mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is an explanation in words and photos of what we learned from our visit to the Aldingbourne Rife Pumping Station.