Glasgow considers tidal flooding adaption of River Clyde

Aerial shot of the River Clyde running through Glasgow

A new Glasgow City Council report has detailed considerations for tidal flooding adaption and risk management on the city’s River Clyde.

The report predicts that, within the city, the River Clyde will largely remain contained within its existing channel up to the year of 2100. It adds that tidal flooding will remain an incident associated with storm events, but rising sea levels mean that flooding associated with an equivalent storm event will be to a greater depth and cover a larger area of land than at present.

A new model of tidal flood risk on the Clyde is outlined in the document, as well as the development of a long-term adaptation framework within Glasgow, and the completion of river design guidance which would balance regeneration of the River Clyde with the complexities of flood risk management.

The creation of the model was driven by the action programme for the River Clyde strategic development framework (SDF), which outlined a vision for the future development of the Clyde corridor in Glasgow.  Tidal flooding was identified as a threat to the delivery of that vision.

Glasgow City Council said that, whilst sea level rise is unlikely to make a significant impact on the Clyde in the short-term, in the longer-term adaptation measures will be needed, and as Glasgow is located in the Inner Estuary, an adaptation framework for the tidal river corridor will be developed in partnership with other organisations. It added that discussions with partners such as Clyde Mission are continuing on adaptation, including the development of an adaptation investment plan for the tidal corridor.

Informed by the new tidal flooding model and the work on adaptation, council officers have prepared guidance that defines the process that developers / designers will be expected to follow, with immediate effect, in the preparation of planning applications on and close to the banks of the river Clyde in Glasgow. The guidance encourages creative solutions that address flooding constraints and contribute to the council’s placemaking objectives and aspirations for the delivery of the river park.

Councillor Angus Millar, convener for climate and the Glasgow green deal at Glasgow City Council, said, “The work being done by the council and our partners to model future flooding risk on the Clyde is vital for the future of the city. Understanding how this could change over time will be key to climate adaptation, responding to the future impacts of climate change on Glasgow. Additionally, as we work to support the revitalisation of the riverfront, with major development planned along the Clyde in coming years, the guidance being made to support future investment on the river will both safeguard sustainable development and create an improved environment along its banks.”