A FUNDAMENTAL change in the way we manage the rural landscape will be needed to help prevent a repeat of the recent flooding seen in the Teifi valley.

Cardigan businessman Glyn Hyett, a founder and director of the UK Rainwater Management Association, has for more than 20 years been advocating a shift in how we manage and store rainwater run-off.

And he fears that without a radical change, such flooding events – and the flipside of that, droughts - will only become more prevalent in the light of climate change.

“I believe all of this links in to climate change and we are facing a huge challenge,” said Glyn, who runs 3P Technik UK Ltd from his Parc Teifi base and had only three months ago been talking about the dry spell that hit the entire country.

“It’s a massive land management issue or we just have to accept it will happen and live with it.

“There is a big focus at the moment on plastic, which is right and proper, but climate change is the threat with an increasing risk of droughts and localised flooding, where a weather system gets trapped and deposits huge amounts of water .”

It is on a national scale that Glyn would like to see change, with the Welsh Assembly leading the way by introducing new sustainable drainage regulations from January 2019 that all new developments will have to follow.

But such regulations will mainly affect urban areas – managing the flow of water in the countryside over a river catchment area such as the Teifi is much more difficult.

“If the rainfall exceeds the capacity of the ground to soak it up, then it becomes a time issue. We have to slow the flow of water and to do that we will have to pay the farmer,” said Glyn.

“This would have to be done on a massive scale but what would be the consequences for intensive farm production? They would want to be paid, and rightly so.

“Properly designed, these schemes and reservoirs could save winter rainfall for summer irrigation use and also serve a double purpose by helping to reduce downstream flood risks.

“To do so, however, they will need to contain an ‘attenuation’ capacity, that is spare capacity to temporarily store water during peak weather events for a later slow release at a rate which downstream drainage infrastructure can cope.

“As the farmers themselves gain no benefit from the attenuation capacity, the additional costs need to be funded by the savings made downstream from the reduced flood risk. It’s a massive problem.”