Kent has a population of approximately 1.6 million people. Its close proximity to London and the continent, with a highly varied landscape and a long coastline, results in very diverse communities. Some coastal towns have high levels of unemployment, deprivation, and vulnerability, often with aged populations. Many areas are experiencing increased flooding, expected to get worse due to rising sea levels and changing weather due to climate change.
Kent County Council is the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) for Kent. As the LLFA they have an overview role for local flooding. Local flooding is flooding that arises from the following sources: surface runoff, ordinary watercourses, and groundwater. The flooding from these sources is generally more localised than flooding from rivers and the sea. Managing these forms of flooding often relies on several systems working effectively, especially drainage networks, sewers and ordinary watercourses, which may be managed by different authorities. Cooperation and integrated planning is required from these authorities to manage local flooding effectively. There are many authorities involved in the management of local flooding in Kent, including Kent County Council, the Environment Agency, District and Borough Councils, Internal Drainage Boards and Water Companies. As the LLFA, Kent County Council produces a Local Flood Risk Management Strategy that sets out how local flood risks is being managed in the county by the authorities involved.