ARCHIVE: Internal Drainage Boards
Internal Drainage Boards (IDBs) are independent bodies responsible for land drainage in areas of special drainage need that extends to 1.2 million hectares of lowland England. They are long established bodies operating predominently under the Land Drainage Act 1991 and have permissive powers to undertake works to secure drainage and water level management of their districts. They may also undertake flood defence works on ordinary watercourses within their district (that is, watercourses other than 'main river').
Much of their work involves the improvement and maintenance of rivers, drainage channels and pumping stations. There are now some 170 in England and Wales, concentrated in East Anglia, Yorkshire, Somerset and Lincolnshire. Internal Drainage Board membership includes elected members representing the occupiers of the land in the district and members nominated by local authorities to represent other interests.
A review of Internal Drainage Boards (IDBs) was announced in June 2005. Read about the review and related implementation plan.
Defra also consulted on a number of possible reforms to the role and governance of IDBs in the draft Floods and Water Management Bill published in April 2009.
The attachments below link to procedures and model documents for IDB use, such as Land Drainage Byelaws, and IDB Standing Orders. If anyone can suggest other model documents which should appear on this page, then please contact us.
- Byelaws procedure (PDF 23KB) and model byelaws (PDF 58KB)
- model standing order (PDF 32KB)
- amalgamation process (PDF 30KB)
Schemes for Constitutions, Reconstitutions, Amalgamations, Transfer of Powers and Alterations to the Boundaries of IDBs.
Schemes for the reorganisation of IDBs as set out above are effected under section 3 of and Schedule 3 to the Land Drainage Act 1991. To make these changes IDBs submit their request to the Environment Agency who then formally apply to Defra for an Order to be made. Any notices informing of an IDBs intention to make such changes will be displayed here.
- 27 April 2011:
- 7 April 2011:
- 08 March 2011: The Scotter Drainage Authority and Scotter Internal Drainage District (Abolition) Order 2010 (PDF)
- 04 March 2011: The Reconstitution of the Witham Fourth District Drainage Board Order 2010 (PDF)
- 17 February 2011: The North Somerset Levels Internal Drainage Board Order 2011 (PDF)
- 31 January 2011: The Scunthorpe and Gainsborough Water Management Board Order 2011 (PDF)
- 26 January 2011: The Isle of Axholme and North Nottinghamshire Water Level Management Board Order 2011 (PDF)
- 24 January 2011: The Ainsty (2008) Internal Drainage Board Order 2011 (PDF)
Defra grant aids IDB flood risk management capital improvement projects at a rate of 45% (from 1 April 2001). However special rates are available for works to implement water level management plans in certain sites, ie 80% in internationally important conservation areas (SPAs, SACs and Ramsar sites), 50% in areas of national importance (other Special Sites of Scientific Interest or SSSIs) and 100% for some identified priority Sites of Special Scientific Interest. This is in recognition of the fact that IDBs are partly funded by private landowners while the works in question provide benefits nationally.
The balance of IDBs' costs of work after grant (and local authority special levies) has to be met by local agricultural drainage ratepayers whereas the capital expenditure of the Environment Agency and local authorities is largely met from the public purse. The actual grant aiding process for IDB projects is operated by the Environment Agency.
- Association of Drainage Authorities - membership organisation for those involved in water level management, including IDBs
- Country Land and Business Association - organisation for owners of land, property and businesses in rural England and Wales
- National Farmers' Union
modified: 27 April 2011
Page published: 10 December 2007