§ Mr. Goodman
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress has been made with regard to pre-feasibility studies to identify options for the alleviation of flooding in Medmenham and Marlow. 
§ Mr. Morley
[holding answer 11 September 2003]: As part of a more extensive study in Medmenham, consultants to the Environment Agency are currently modelling various different options for reducing flood risk. This has taken longer than anticipated due to problems with the modelling, however, the pre-feasibility report will be concluded by the end of October 2003.
The Environment Agency is undertaking two pre-feasibility studies that are considering possible flood alleviation options for the Pound Lane and Firview Close areas of Marlow. The first study is due to be completed by the end of September and the second is due for completion in October 2003.
§ Mr. Morley
The Environment Agency's Indicative Floodplain Map provides a general overview of areas of land in natural floodplains and, therefore, that are potentially at risk of flooding from rivers or the sea. The maps are created using the best available information, and are based on historical flood records and computer models. The Agency's Thames Region is able to answer queries relating to the source of the floodplain outline in a particular area. Data are available for the River Thames and all other main river catchments.
The Department's Flood Management High Level Target 5 requires operating authorities to make an overall assessment of the risk of flooding. The Environment Agency's Risk Assessment for Strategic Planning (RASP), combines information on the defence system, the Indicative Floodplain Map and the topography, to give an indication of the category of flood risk in a local area. The data are to be used by the Agency for national monitoring of risk from flooding; strategic prioritisation of investment in defence improvements or other flood management options (e.g. increased storage or diversion); targeting flood warning and emergency response; and highlighting priorities for monitoring and maintenance. The RASP 775W outputs have been supplied to the Association of British Insurers and can be made available to individuals on request. The Agency is planning on being able to put this information on their website by September 2004.