THE impact of climate change means that extreme weather events including heavy rain and flooding are becoming more frequent.

The scale and intensity of the recent floods across Europe has brought devastation to communities. We have seen extreme rainfall causing rivers to burst their banks, with the Danube and Elbe particularly affected.

Across Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary and Slovakia, people have been left struggling to cope, suffering from damage to homes and supporting each other in the face of disaster.

In Glasgow, over the last week, we have not experienced flooding as significant as elsewhere but torrential downpours and thunderstorms impacted on the city’s transport links, drains, housing and local businesses.

There was a huge amount of rainfall over a very short period of time. This resulted in severe environmental consequences for our streets, including 50 houses being evacuated due to flooding in Drumchapel.

I am reminded of the 1994 major flooding which occurred in rivers and urban watercourses across Glasgow and its surrounding areas.

The slow-moving weather system brought persistent rain over two days. Previously recorded peak river flows were exceeded. The River Kelvin flooded into Kelvinbridge subway car park.

Also, we cannot forget the summer of 2002 when flash floods affected the areas of Greenfield and Shettleston.

A total of 200 people were evacuated and roads were badly affected by flooding in Sighthill, Springburn, as well as the main A82 and A8 roads and the M8 motorway.

Glasgow was hit by a month’s worth of rain in a single afternoon as substantial parts of the East End were submerged.

I found myself having to walk for several hours that day to get home from work at Easterhouse as bus services ground to a halt.

Glasgow’s ageing drainage systems struggled to cope with the extreme weather conditions in 2002.

This was the catalyst for the development of the Metropolitan Glasgow Strategic Drainage Scheme.

Working across seven local authority areas, it is tackling issues linked to a complex network of sewer pipes, gullies, burns and culverts. There has been investment in flooding and health protection measures, and adapting the sewers, supported by the Clyde and Loch Lomond Local Plan.

Currently, I am impressed by the development of Europe’s first ever “smart canal” scheme, which uses the historic Forth and Clyde Canal and 21st century technology to mitigate flood risk.

Green councillors support further resources for the delivery of Glasgow’s flood prevention plans to rapidly transition to climate-ready neighbourhoods that reduce emissions and increase resilience to extreme conditions.

This includes designing more permeable paved surfaces, increasing greenspace, tree canopy cover and retrofitted buildings, as well as having better active travel facilities.

Glasgow can become a “sponge city”, with more green roofs, which absorb rainfall and result in less runoff.

There is an urgent need for increased investment to complete the city’s flood protection projects and provide support for individual homeowners to put in place measures to protect their property.

The climate crisis is a huge challenge that we need to address now.