It’s peak season for storms and flooding, and with climate change and what-not it’s about time we did something about the ever worsening weather.
Flood experts have come together to create a top ten list of the measures that we must take to prevent the increasing number of floods that we expect over the next few months and years to come.
- Introduce better flood warning systems
Being prepared is key when it comes to flooding. Having more time means that more lives can be saved. Our current warning systems only give us a few days notice of severe flood warnings and alerts which isn’t enough time to put a flood prevention plan in action for the majority of people.
2. Modify homes and businesses to help cope better with floods
It is important for architects to be aware of the duties that they are responsible for when it comes to constructing new buildings. Modern buildings should have adequate flood ‘resilience’ in the event of a flood, no matter how likely it is.
3. Construct buildings above flood levels
It has been suggested that all modern buildings should be constructed one meter from the ground to reduce the likelihood of floods. Obviously this cannot be put into place for existing buildings, but it is a simple and effective method for properties that will be constructed in the future.
4. Tackle climate change
Climate change contributes to a rise in extreme weather, most notably storms that increase the rate and risk of flooding. It has been scientifically proven that the climate and our impact on the climate is having a negative affect, resulting in a direct link between our impact and the number of floods as a result of climate change. To read more about climate change and flooding check out our climate change blog.
5. Increase spending on flood defences
Recent figures suggest that spending on flooding has gone down by around 20%, which is mindblowing considering that the amount of flooding has only increased. By spending more on flood defence, the risk of flooding reduces – it also means that you are already prepared for the worst.
6. Protect and produce wetlands
Wetlands act as sponges and soak up a lot of moisture while slowing down the flow of water in the event of a flood. Unfortunately, a lot of these areas are being destroyed in order to make room for agriculture, or property development. Restoring these wetlands and reforesting areas on high land will help to protect surrounding areas from flooding.
7. Restore rivers to their natural courses
Historically, rivers have had their natural courses straightened to improve navigability which shortens the length of the river itself. By reintroducing bends to the rivers their length can be increased which will delay flood flow and reduce the impact of flooding further downstream.
8. Introduce water storage areas
Following the floods of 2009, a £5.6 million flood alleviation scheme was established which produced a flood storage reservoir equivalent to the size of 30 olympic sized swimming pools, resulting in the flood risk being reduced by 20%.
9. Improve soil conditions
Poor soil management, particularly among farm lands where animals and machinery compact the land can provide a big problem. Water doesn’t soak into the soil in these areas and instead runs off the surface or begins to stand, leading to flooding. Alternatively, soil that is well looked after and well drained can absorb masses of water, leading to a reduction in flooding.
10. PUT UP MORE FLOOD BARRIERS!
Flood barriers are one of the most, if not THE MOST effective defences against floods. With the threat of floods rising as we head into the near future, the only real effective long-term solution is to build flood defences. These barriers can be temporary or ‘demountable’ – so they can be removed once floodwaters have receded. Find out more about the flood barrier choices that we can provide.
For any further questions, please get in touch – Kevin@floodsense.co.uk