Landscaper's Journal - Flood Control
Living here in the Ozarks, we've had our share of river/creek floods that have devastated communities and destroyed our infrastructures. We're not alone. Flooding is a naturally occurring force that attacks bodies of water all around the world. The world has really started putting some major brain power toward this situation (especially since the change in climate and increase in natural disasters).
Climate change is a fact. You can feel it, see it and you're affected by it. This article doesn't dive into the cause of climate change because there are a lot of opinions and factors that contribute to a debate that we're not diving into.
How do we deal with climate change and it's effects? Good old nature's cure it seems is currently being analyzed as a better solution to massive floods. We've been using ancient flood control methods up to recent times and in the last 30 years, governments and major organizations here in the U.S. and abroad have been looking to re-introducing natural wetlands and lessening the amount of levees, dikes and dams to manage flood waters.
Strategies such as relocating dikes further inland to widen floodplains, modifying dikes in certain areas to allow for flooding, lowering floodplains and reducing the height of groynes (rigid structures placed in rivers to slow the water flow) are not only lessening the damage from floods but also creating healthier aqua habitats in waterways under review.
Quickening water flow, deepening the river bed, removing obstacles that obstruct flow and creating alternate routes and storage areas have become the strategy in fighting extreme damage to homes and communities by allowing waterways to hold more water while at the same time accelerating flow to evacuate water from populated areas into zones that soak up flood water like a sponge.
Wetlands and riparian corridors are extremely beneficial to this natural model and each region has a proper formula that works. Bad news is this isn't a one size fits all plan. Good news is that all regions have wonderful, beautiful options to decrease the frequency and severity of floods. Organizations around the world are working on major projects to fight the effects of flood damage but there are also really fun designs that property owners can do that not only contribute to the combined efforts of many but also offer a refreshing landscape they can enjoy... and brag to neighbors about saving the world with their green roof.
I hope this article helps inform people of some new techniques being used for flood control and encourage folks to look at local waterways and possibly city streets or their yards for possible rainwater management improvements. We can't stop floods from happening but we can try to limit destruction to homes and cities by using new techiniques and designs. Go ahead and shoot me a message if you would like to dig deeper into this subject or have any questions. Thanks for reading and stay posted for future articles.