Two new reports from the Environment Agency show that one in six homes in England are at risk of flooding and that investment in the building and maintaining of flood defences will need to almost double to �1bn a year by 2035, as climate change increases the risk of coastal erosion and flooding from rivers and the sea. In its 'Flooding in England' report, the organisation has revealed that over 430,000 people in flood risk areas have now signed up to its flood warnings service and is urging those who are not yet subscribed to join. The free service provides vital early warning by SMS, telephone or email, helping to save the lives of those at risk of flooding. Also publishing a 'Long Term Investment Strategy for England', the Government's environmental watchdog says that a steady increase in investment will be vital to maintain current levels of protection against rising seas levels, more rapid rates of coastal erosion, and increasingly severe and frequent rainstorms due to climate change. The funding recommendations are based on the latest climate change impact predictions, released on 18 June. The Environment Agency's strategy estimates that the annual cost of damage to residential and commercial property from flooding in England, as well as the cost of further disruption, damage to infrastructure and loss of business, could rise from �2.5 billion to �4 billion by 2035 unless funding for defences is increased. The organisation has calculated that the damage avoided through its investment proposals could save England some �180bn over the next 100 years but accepts that it may be necessary to look at other sources of funding alongside that of central government.


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