What is the solution to all the flooding?
Christmas time is a time for fun, family and festivities but this year, for many people in the UK, it’s spelled nothing but disaster, destruction and despair.
Major devastation has hit many parts of the UK this Christmas as months’ worth of rainfall fell in just a few short hours. As storm Eva continued to batter the UK, in places such as Cumbria, West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester, people were moved out of their homes, high streets became unrecognisable and Christmas was very much over.
In response to the crisis, the government called an emergency Cobra meeting to discuss how the government are to respond to the floods but, as always there are things we can do ourselves in order to avoid these same circumstances from occurring again.
What causes the floods?
The obvious answer to this is the high levels of rainfall experienced in such a short period of time, however, there’s really no reason for heavy rainfall to lead to such destruction.
Industrialisation and continual development has meant that Britain has lost, and continues to lose, a lot of green space.
Naturally, in green areas, the water cycle prevents excessive surface water because it has many natural drainage routes. Development alters this natural drainage as it replaces the draining ground with sewers, pipes and impermeable surfaces. These changes, along with the removal of vegetation will increase the volume of surface water – and therefore run off – which will make built up areas much more susceptible to flooding.
What’s the answer?
Essentially there is no answer, there are however preventative methods which will reduce the risk of flooding caused by excessive levels of surface water.
As periods of intense rainfall are predicted to become even more common, it’s important to attempt to prevent the kinds of disaster and upheaval suffered by many people this Christmas.
Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) are designed to allow effective drainage and essentially slow the speed of flowing water before entering a watercourse.
SUDS come in a huge variety of different forms, from permeable paving, to ponds, wetlands, green roofs and tree pits, and all of these can be used to effectively prevent the likelihood of surface flooding.
SUDS schemes can be used in industrial and domestic settings and offer a great alternative to tarmac and provide a useable ground surface while also providing any surface water with an effective drainage route.
For more information about SUDS and flood prevention, take a look at this video developed by a community dedicated to providing and promoting sustainable drainage systems in urban areas.