"We do need to think about how we react to these really extreme weather events that we have had…Partly it will mean stronger flood defences but I don’t think the solution is just to build up flood defences higher. Partly it will mean thinking much more broadly about how we manage river catchments, so water doesn’t come straight down from the sky and straight into the rivers, so that we can slow the flow," Sir James Bevan told BBC Radio 4’s Today program.
His remarks come in response to criticism voiced by the EA Chairman Sir Philip Dilley on the way the agency handled the flooding caused by heavy rains.
In December, hundreds of people were forced to flee their homes due to an unprecedented flooding with the highest level ever recorded in some parts of northern Britain. Tens of thousands of homes were left without electricity because of torrential rain and gusty wind.