About Yorkshire & Humber Drainage Boards

The Boards

The Management Group

Yorkshire & Humber Drainage Boards is management group that provides shared administrative and technical services for 8 independent Internal Drainage Boards (“Partner IDBs”). Most of these shared services are provided by the largest of the IDBs, Ouse and Humber Drainage Board but mutual arrangements are also possible.

By working together the Partner IDBs can share resources and reduce overheads. This agreement also allows for more specialist staff to be employed that can focus on specific work areas. Like many public authorities IDBs are under financial pressure so these arrangements present opportunities for savings that can be redirected into front-line services.


Our Partner IDBs cover area of Yorkshire from Scarborough to Stainforth and from Brough to Barnsley. We represent one of the largest groups of Flood Risk Management Authorities in the UK. Here are some of of statistics:

We have 118 Board Members including Councillors, Land Owners and Community Representatives.

  • We cover 8 Local Authority Districts.
  • We maintain over 800 miles of rivers and watercourses
  • We maintain over 80 pumping stations
  • We drain of 200,000 acres of farmland
  • We reduce flood risk to thousands of people, businesses and infrastructure

How Does the Management Group Work?


Our Partner IDBs have agreed to work with each other using a legal agreement made under section 11 of the Land Drainage Act 1991 which allows that “Two internal drainage boards may agree that one is to provide administrative, professional or technical services for the other”. The agreements also utilise the Hamburg Waste Exemption (taken from the Court of Justice of the European Union Commission v Germany (Case C-480/06) and section 12(7) of the Public Contract Regulations 2015) which provides an exemption from the requirement to complete a public procurement exercise.


Our Partner IDBs have agreed to share administrative, professional and technical costs, each Board pays an annual fee towards these ‘running costs’ on a basis that is broadly proportionate to each organisations annual turnover.

For further information

For further information about how IDBs can work together please contact the Chief Executive, Yorkshire & Humber Drainage Boards.

Public Sector Agreements

Our Partner IDBs provide drainage and flood risk management services to a number of other public authorities through a series of agreements, national and local Acts of Parliament.

The Coal Authority

The Coal Authority manages the effects of past coal mining, including subsidence damage claims which are not the responsibility of licensed coal mine operators. It deals with mine water pollution and other mining legacy issues.

The presence of historic mine workings in the Danvm and Black Drain Drainage Districts has resulted inĀ  areas of land subsiding (dropping) by two or more metres in places. This means that the land cannot drain as it used to.

The Coal Authority and its predecessors have and continue to invest in watercourses, culverts (pipelines) and pumping stations (“Mining Subsidence Drainage Assets”).

Danvm and Black Drain IDBs are the operating authorities for these Mining Subsidence Drainage Assets with much of this work funded by the Coal Authority.

Environment Agency

The Environment Agency (“the EA”), like the IDBs is a [Flood] Risk Management Authority, whereas IDBs are the relevant authority for inland drainage and flood defences the EA have similar responsibilities associated with main rivers.

IDBs work very closely with the EA, often on a daily basis due to the connectivity of our watercourses, rivers and pumping stations (“Flood Defence Assets”) and carry out similar or the same type of maintenance that IDBs do.

Our Partner IDBs carry out maintenance works on behalf of the EA on main river Flood Defence Assets through Public Sector Agreements. Access to local contractors, workforce and strong relationships with local landowners often means that IDBs can deliver these works with cost savings.

Highways England

The M62, M18 and A63 (Dual Carriageway) passes through our IDB districts, constructing this part of the motorway presented engineers with a particular challenge of crossing over many miles of managed floodplain, spectacularly illustrated by the Ouse Bridge between Goole and Howden.

Much of this part of the trunk road network is a causeway which means that it is raised up above surrounding land.

When works were carried out in the mid 1970’s the route interrupted and bisected numerous watercourse and also presented a very large metaled and impermeable surface which increased rainfall runoff.

To mitigate these effects a number of new and improved flood defence assets were constructed and agreements were reached with the trunk road authority and our Partner IDBs to manage these.

We continue to work with Highways England on maintenance and a number of other projects.