At school today I read a rather interesting article from an old copy of BBC’s Focus magazine, detailing how to combat flooding. This is a very topical issue, as in the U.K. many houses are affected each year by flooding, and recently the floods have been worse than they were before.
The first technique is named tactical retreat. The article details how unfashionable concrete sea defences are and how a much more natural way to cope with flooding is retreating and letting nature take its course. This creates wetland habitats for birds, insects and reptiles; many of these species are endangered and need our help. Therefore, creating wetland could be a solution for all of us.
Next the article suggests preventative measures to avoid flooding which can be applied to our homes. Flood proof doors are simple to install, but a more radical technique suggested is to provide a water resistant nano coating to stop water seeping into homes after flood water reaches your house. I believe the other technique demonstrated, used in Buckinghamshire, is unviable. It details how floating homes can be used to stop flooding because they simply float on the water! However, what stops these floating away? And what would the cost be? Therefore I don’t think these specially designed houses are the way forward.
Another way to use nature is the employ beavers, who create dams which stop flood water. There is a trial in Knapdale occurring to see what the long term effects of dams will be and how it affects local farmland, as dams can have negative effects on crops. Or we could replace our roads with water ways like Venice, but this would be very expensive to do for the whole of Britain!
A useful technique would be to farm the land soaked with water, like in Asia where rice farms dominate. Or we could all move underwater, but again cost would be an issue. The last solution suggested is to simply build big walls, but I don’t think the public would be in favour of this!
The salient issue when discussing flooding is cost, because so many of the solutions will cost huge sums of money. The balance will have to be reached to find a solution that will make all happy.
Keep your eyes peeled for my next post!