THOUSANDS of people in Glasgow face a flood risk as drainage systems struggle to cope with downpours.
And vulnerable groups are most at risk.
The findings by the Royal Geographical Society come after record rainfall averages in recent months, with June the wettest on record.
The society claims that in urban areas of more than 10,000 people, the "invisible hazard" could affect 5.5% of the population.
At-risk areas have an increased danger of rain-related flooding – pluvial flooding – which is when surface water accumulates after a period of intense rain.
Areas in the East End – such as those hit by floods in Shettleston in July 2002 – could be among those worst hit again.
Project researcher Dr Alastair Geddes said that if drains are full, excess water collects in bumps and hollows.
He added: "What we see are areas across most of the urban area of Glasgow, each one relatively small in size, with the places where the 2002 [flood] occurred the places where you'd expect to see this occur again."
He added that the further flooding risk assessment is made on the assumption that nothing is done to clear or improve current drainage systems.
Dr Geddes, from the University of Dundee, added: "Existing flood risk assessments are based on the number of properties at risk as opposed to the number of people. This approach down plays the impact on people, and in particular potentially vulnerable groups such as the elderly.
"We estimate that around 2millon urban residents [in the UK] are exposed to this kind of flood risk and that this applies more so to vulnerable social groups.
"The number at risk is expected to increase by more than half, to 3.2m people by 2050, largely the result of regional population growth, although climate change will also be important."
Vulnerable social groups have a slightly bigger chance of being the worse hit, with lower income groups and renters tending to live in low lying areas around city centres, in higher populated terr-aced houses and flats.
Research suggests that cities which occupy a river site – such as Glasgow on the Clyde – where deprived inner city neighbourhoods tend to be located in low-lying areas will also be worst hit.
The University of Dundee's research stems from a study funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
It suggests the flood risk can be eased through "avoiding the highest risk locations, investment in drainage systems, flood proof building design and innovative surface water management schemes".
The £53m White Cart Water Flood Prevention Scheme, inaugurated last October, is now helping to reduce the risk of flood damage in the South Side by protecting approximately 1750 homes and businesses.