If you have a watercourse, ditch, stream, river or culvert on or next to your land you are known as a ‘riparian owner’. Riparian owners are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of watercourses on their land to ensure that they are not a flood risk to other people or property.
Well maintained watercourses can significantly benefit the local community by reducing flood risk and creating habitats for wildlife.
The riparian responsibilities for landowners under law are to:
* Ensure the flow of water is not obstructed or polluted
* Maintain the bottom and sides of the watercourse (including managing any trees and vegetation growing on the banks)
* Remove any obstructions, such as rubbish, fallen branches or garden waste
* Maintain any structures (such as trash screens, culverts, weirs and mill gates) on it.
WSCC has updated some helpful information to guide landowners and community groups around this subject. Keeping our watercourses well maintained benefits the community as a whole. If an area experiences constant flooding, this becomes a nuisance to the community, can restrict access to property, makes everyday living difficult and results in considerable expense and inconvenience for those that have been flooded.
You can find more information here: Ditch the problem