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LONDON-Developers are not doing enough to help prevent London suffering severe flooding according to a new report from the Greater London Authority. The problem of rising groundwater levels has been known for some years now, and only yesterday a large part of the London Underground system was out of action due to flooding.

Pumping water from underneath London has reduced considerably since the decline of the industrial sector in the 1960s. Since then the water has continued to rise. The London Assembly Environment Committee estimates that 70 mega litres of water per day must be pumped out to prevent flooding or damage to London’s infrastructure and deep tunnels and sewers. The foundations of tall buildings are also in danger from rising water levels.

Seven new boreholes have been dug in Merton, Streatham, Honour Oak, Wanstead, Brixton, Battersea and Islington. But the committee is extremely concerned that Mayor Livingstone has missed the opportunity to encourage developers to help in his Spatial Development Strategy. Samantha Heath, Chair of the Environment Committee, said: ‘Many new and exciting buildings could save London from flooding and put this water to good use, for example in air conditioning systems. The GLA has already made plans to do this in our new building at More London. We need to encourage new developments to take this issue into account.’

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