Defra has overall policy responsibility for flood and coastal erosion risk in England. We fund most of the Environment Agency's activities in this area through a fixed budget for each year and provide grant aid on a project by project basis to the other flood and coastal defence operating authorities (local authorities and internal drainage boards) to support their investment in capital improvement works. Defra does not build defences, nor direct the authorities on what specific projects to do. The works programme to manage risk is driven by the operating authorities. We regard this arrangement as a partnership, try to ensure that risk is managed effectively by the authorities and provide guidance to help ensure this. Flooding in this context means from watercourses or the sea rather than from surface water run-off, groundwater, inadequate drainage or sewers.