Floods have caused tremendous losses and resulted in untold suffering for millions of people. Flooding has a wide range of consequences. It causes property damage and puts human and other animals’ lives in jeopardy. Soil erosion and sediment deposition elsewhere are caused by rapid water discharge (such as further downstream or down a coast). Fish spawning grounds and other animal habitats can be damaged or eliminated entirely. In regions without raised roadways, sustained high floods can cause traffic delays. Floods can cause problems with drainage and the efficient use of land, such as disrupting farming. Bridge abutments, bank lines, sewage lines, and other structures in floodways can sustain structural damage. The transportation of waterways and the generation of hydroelectric power are frequently hampered.
Small measures are used to limit the flow of water before it reaches larger rivers in natural flood management.
Small obstacles in ditches and fields, or notches carved into embankments, could be used to channel water into open ground. When water is momentarily taken from the main flow of a river, letting pools form outside the main channel reduces the force of the floodwaters. Natural flood management is meant to supplement flood barriers and concrete walls by providing a long-term solution to flooding management. Some measures which can be taken to control floods are:
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1. Better flood warning systems should be implemented.
The Environment Agency’s deputy chief executive, David Rooke, stated that the UK must “enhance our flood warning systems,” providing people more time to take action during flooding and potentially saving lives. Flooding can be considerably reduced with advance warning and preparedness.
2. Make changes to your house and business to help them endure flooding.
According to Laurence Waterhouse, director of civil engineering flood consultant Pell Frischmann, the focus should be on “flood resilience” rather than defensive strategies. He suggested laying concrete floors and replacing MDF and plasterboard with more durable materials. “Flooding will be a part of our lives. Mr. Waterhouse stated, “It’s here to stay.” “We have to be ready.” Mr. Rooke echoed his suggestions, suggesting that homes and businesses are waterproofed and electric plugs are moved higher up the walls to boost resistance.
3. Construct structures that are higher than flood levels.
To avoid flood damage, the former president of the Institution of Civil Engineers has proposed that all new structures be built one meter above ground level. Professor David Balmforth, an expert on flood risk management, believes that traditional defenses must be reinforced with more inventive ways in order to reduce the likelihood of future disasters.
4. Take action to combat climate change
Scientists believe that climate change has contributed to an increase in extreme weather events. Natalie Bennett, the Green Party’s leader, praised the historic Paris Agreement, in which governments from 195 countries agreed to “pursue efforts” to keep global average temperatures below 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Ms. Bennett stated, “It is now critical that world leaders deliver on the promise of Paris.” “The British government is now under pressure to reverse its terrible environmental policies.”
5. Spending on flood defenses should be increased.
According to figures from the House of Commons library, flood defense investment has decreased by 20% in real terms since David Cameron took office. The Prime Minister refuted this charge yesterday [MON], claiming that the amount spent had increased. After chairing a conference call of the government’s emergency Cobra committee over the weekend, Mr. Cameron committed to reassessing flood defense expenditure.
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6. Wetlands should be protected, and trees should be planted strategically.
When rivers overflow, greater wetlands, and wooded areas can act as sponges, soaking up moisture and slowing the flow of water. According to the WWF, these places are frequently destroyed to make way for agriculture and development. According to the conservation organization, halting deforestation, and wetland drainage, reforesting upstream areas, and restoring damaged wetlands might considerably minimize the impact of climate change on flooding.
7. Rivers should be restored to their natural courses.
Historically, many river systems have been straightened to increase navigability. Reintroducing bends to straightened rivers increases their length, which can delay flood flow and minimize the impact of floods downstream.
8. Create storage areas for water.
Following the severe flooding of 2009, Thacker Beck, on the outskirts of Penrith, Cumbria, developed a £5.6 million flood mitigation plan. More than 675 meters of culverts beneath Penrith’s streets were renovated, and a 76,000m3 flood storage reservoir — the equivalent of 30 Olympic-sized swimming pools – was built upstream to keep floodwaters at bay. According to Cumbria Wildlife Trust, the risk of flooding from the beck has been lowered from a 20% probability in any given year to a 1% chance.
9. Improve the soil situation.
Soil can become compacted as a result of poor soil management, machinery, and animal hooves, and instead of collecting moisture, storing it, and eventually releasing it, water flows off it rapidly. Rainwater can be absorbed by well-drained soil, preventing it from flowing into rivers.
10. Increase the number of flood-barriers.
In high-risk areas, the Environment Agency employs a variety of temporary or “demountable” defenses. When the waters recede, these can be entirely removed. Temporary barriers, such as higher embankments, can be added to permanent flood defenses to increase the amount of protection. Frank Kelly, CEO of UK Flood Barriers, asserted earlier this month in Infrastructure Intelligence, a publication for the infrastructure sector, that “as the threat and frequency of flood risk increases, passive flood defense needs to be the only feasible long-term option.”
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