Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Flooding in England: What can be done?

New Scientist environment blog: ...There's a clear irony about the floods, given that in the summer of 2006 in England, all the talk was of droughts and hosepipe bans.
What is significant and thought provoking is that a year ago we were seeking ways to retain water. Now we are desperate for it to go out to the sea. What we need is a more holistic approach that recognises the role of catchments in terms of flood storage.

Justin Taberham, Director of Policy, Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management
Here's a picture of that holistic approach:
You cannot design flooding out of urban spaces. Therefore it is vital that planners and developers move away from trying to resist seasonal influxes of water [which are increasing in volume] and move towards designing for flooding and absorbing excess water safely. This can be aided by taking some simple steps such as: incorporating green roofs, creating recreational areas within cities, and providing storage areas such as wetland habitats and water bodies upstream. In fact, planners could take this as a golden opportunity to make properties safer, but also improve our environment with green spaces and create richer habitats for wildlife

Bob Sargent, President, Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management
It's either that or building houses on stilts, I'd say.

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