Drainage Authorities carry out the continuing battle to protect land from flooding from both the sea and rivers.
In Lincolnshire the Environment Agency looks after main rivers and sea defences, and Drainage Boards operate in the low lying Fen and valley areas maintaining pumping stations and drainage channels, to ensure that people are safe and that their property does not become flooded.
Witham Fourth District Internal Drainage Board covers an area of 40,928 hectares of Lincolnshire. We maintain 702 kilometres of drains and are responsible for seven pumping stations.
Where do Drainage Boards get their money from? Every farmer has to pay a drainage rate to the Board, ranging from £2.00 to £12.00 per acre, depending on the value of the land in each area. In addition District Councils pay a Special Levy to each Board covering domestic and commercial properties. The total income of Lincolnshire Drainage Boards was £13 million in 2003/2004.
In the past few years the emphasis has moved away from improvements solely for the protection of property and increased food production. The Board now has a duty to further the interests of conservation and have responded to this in their approach to maintenance and improvements works.
More recently the Board has had to deal with the effects of the rapid expansion of urban and industrial development within their area. Where development has taken place large impermeable areas have been created increasing both the rate and volume of surface water run off, often requiring improvements to the drainage system.
Land drainage and flood protection therefore continues to remain a vital necessity for Lincolnshire and other lowland areas of England and Wales. Successive governments have recognised that Internal Drainage Boards continue to be an effective way of meeting the local need and Drainage Boards look forward to meeting the challenges of the future and to continue their work for many years to come.
Map Of The Boards Area