Reducing Flood Risk

The Board and its predecessors have been very successful in reducing flood risk over the years, with a pedigree of over 100 years in the business. So successful in fact, that many people living and working in the area know nothing of the Internal Drainage Board and the vital work that we do to help prevent flooding and drought, protect the environment and facilitate land use.

Measuring Success

Our success is inevitably measured by what does not happen rather than what does happen, which means that if flooding or drought does not occur frequently the value of what we do is sometimes questioned. But it is precisely because we continually maintain, improve and watch over the drainage system that we are actually able to reduce the risk of flooding and drought, protect the environment and facilitate land use.


Great strides forward have been made over the years: the system of drainage which was based on an individual’s liability to repair a particular stretch of drain gave way to the small Board centred on a particular drain or outfall. The coming of expensive machinery and modern methods resulted in their amalgamation into an organisation big enough to employ the professional staff and own the machinery and equipment essential to efficient drainage but crucially, without losing the intimate contact with the land, which is at the very heart of good drainage and water level management.

Legal Chronology

The Broads and Norfolk Rivers Internal Drainage Boards Order 2005 (Statutory Instrument 2005 No.429). This Order constituted Broads IDB in 2005 from an amalgamation of 6 Internal Drainage Boards:

The Broads (2006) Internal Drainage Board Order 2006 (Statutory Instrument 2006 No.773). This Order constituted Broads (2006) IDB (the current Board) in 2006 from an amalgamation of 3 Internal Drainage Boards:

Historic image: a group of labourers using spades and scythes to manage the banks of a large drain. A brick arched bridge is featured in the background.       Historic image: an old drag line is pictured, emptying its contents into an old dumper truck which is parked on the lower bank of the drain.       Historic image circa. 1947: men work with an old piling machine at the Lawyers sluice, South Holland IDB.

Contact details

During office hours
(between 8.30 am and 4.30 pm)
Tel: +44(0)1553 819600
Email: info@wlma.org.uk

Central Office: Pierpoint House, 28 Horsley’s Fields
King's Lynn, Norfolk, PE30 5DD

Out of hours

Please contact the Duty Officer on +44(0)7841 571251 or send an email to dutyofficer@wlma.org.uk. Otherwise if you know who you need to contact in an emergency, please refer to the Member Board’s ‘Contact us’ webpage on this site for their out of hours contact details.

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