Starting a Flood Action Group

Published: 15 August 2016

A ‘how-to’ guide to starting your own flood action group in West Sussex has been published online by West Sussex County Council.

It is aimed at residents, or existing community groups, who report flooding or are concerned about future flooding in their areas.

  • Flood action groups represent a voice for their community on flood-related issues.
  • They work closely with local authorities, the Environment Agency, water companies, landowners and businesses to find ways to help reduce flood risk in their community.
  • The website offers guidance on:
  • Setting up your own group
  • Funding
  • Skills
  • Training and
  • Equipment
West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, John O’Brien, said:
“People think it is difficult to set up a flood action group – it is not. With this website we are trying to make it as easy as possible. You can set up a group for your street, your neighbourhood or estate. You can set one up as part of an existing group you may already be part of, such as neighbourhood watch or a residents association. This website can help you.”

There are 23 flood action groups already in the county. They are a growing influence on flood risk management strategy in West Sussex. Two nominated representatives sit on the West Sussex Flood Risk Management Board, alongside statutory flood authorities the Environment Agency, Southern Water and the County Council.

John added: “Flood action groups can be the eyes and ears of our highways teams. With their local knowledge, they can report flooding issues and potential flooding problems before they happen.”

Operation Watershed funding is available to support setting up a Flood Action Group. Up to £1,600 is available to assist with start-up costs and promoting the group in your community. Established groups can then apply for further funding to deliver projects that address flooding issues they identify.

Operation Watershed has awarded £390,805 to flood action groups in the past.
Flood action groups to successfully apply include:
  • Birdham and Earnley Flood Prevention Group for its Grange Rife clearance project,
  • West Felpham Flood Action Assembly for ditch clearance work, and
  • Littlehampton Flood Action Group’s groundwater borehole investigation.
For more information about flood action groups, visit

To apply for Operation Watershed funding, email for more information