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3. Land drainage

Flood risk management responsibilities fall to a variety of organisations who work together to ensure that legal and policy obligations are met.

We have responsibilities under the Land Drainage Act. In particular we have responsibilities for:

  • implementing and maintaining flood defences on ordinary watercourses.
  • managing flood risk on ordinary watercourses.
  • clearing blocked watercourses for which we are the riparian owner.
  • the preparation of development plans.
  • comment on Planning Applications where there are coastal or drainage implications and give advice to developers.

Devon County Council also deal with flood risk management

We are responsible for maintaining watercourses within Devon County Council's ownership; all other watercourses are the responsibility of  private landowners, known as the ‘riparian owner’. For more information on the rights and responsibilities of riparian owners read Living on the Edge produced by the Environment Agency. 

If you notice any watercourse in poor condition or with impeded flows you should report this to the Drainage Team if it is an ‘Ordinary Watercourse’ and the Environment Agency if it is a ‘Main River’ – check if it’s a main river here.

You can contact the Environment Agency on 0800 80 70 60.