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Methods Used To Control Floods

10/1/2013 11:56:00 AM | by Anonymous

Flood Control

Floods can cause many problems and in serious cases, lives may be taken as well. This is why it is important to take preventive measures to stop the floods from happening in the first place. Flood control is referred to as measures taken to prevent floods from happening.


In order to decide the most efficient method, one must first understand what is causing the flood in the first place. Floods may be caused by a number of reasons such as: severe winds over water, tsunamis, heavy rainfall, failure of flood control measures and highly accelerated snowmelt.


Flooding can also indirectly occur through hazards like forest fires which remove precious vegetation that is useful for absorbing rainfall. When there is rainfall, the water is either absorbed by the vegetation or retained in ponds, soil or rivers. However, there is a certain limit that the water can be contained. Once rainfall exceeds the limit, the rest of the water travels across the land. This is known as surface runoff. The surface runoff is usually one of the reasons that flash floods occur. Flash floods are floods where the water level rises very quickly, proving little or no warning at all.


Why prevent floods?


Flooding has many negative impacts, from damaging property to even taking lives. Flooding also transports other sediments to other places. This pollutes the habitats that wildlife may reside in. If the floods are to make their way into urban areas then it may cause disruption to traffic, interfere with drainage and electrical systems. This causes millions of dollars in damage. Thus, it would be less costly and safe to prevent the flood from happening in the first place.


Methods used to prevent floods


Dams are one way that can be used for flood control. Dams are barriers that control the flow of water from a big water source such as a river or reservoir. Unlike other barriers, damns are used to retain water. The advantage with dams is that they are able to generate electricity through hydropower.


Another type of method of flood control that can be used would be flood gates. Flood gates are systems that have adjustable gates to control the flow rate of a river. The water can either be stored or routed depending on the situation. Also, flood gates can also lower the water levels from canal channels or the main river channel. This allows more water to flow into a storage area if a flood is being predicted.

The next method that can be used for flood control would be a flood wall. Similar to dams, flood walls serve the purpose of containing water of rivers or other water channels. However, flood walls are only temporary. They are used in areas where there is limited space or if a construction of other barriers would interfere with the surrounding environment. Flood walls are made out of fabricated concrete materials. These flood walls may sometimes have flood gates which allow people and vehicles to pass through. They are only closed in case of a flood.


In Asian countries, flood diversion is used to divert the flood away from more populated cities. However, due to the growing problem of deforestation, which is the removal of natural vegetation for agricultural purposes, the area has been less effective in absorbing the water from the floods. To tackle the problem, more measures to reduce deforestation should be taken. To fix the damage land, reforestation should also be done. However, it will take an extremely long time for the trees to grow.


To control coastal flooding, there are some methods such as sea walls, beach nourishment and barrier islands that can be built along to coast to prevent flooding from the ocean. Sea walls are built along the coast to prevent high tides from flooding the area. However, seawalls may corrode over time and collapse. Beach nourishment is the addition of sand to the existing coast so that the tides will not reach the populated areas that quickly. However, it is a costly method that takes a considerable amount of time to complete.


Nevertheless, it is always better to spend more money preventing floods from occurring than suffering the loss of your family and friends. Prevention is always better than cure.

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