Soft Engineering Strategies

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  • Soft Engineering Strategies
    • Forecasts and Warnings
      • In frequently flooded areas, flood forecasts are implemented to allow people time to get to safety and to protect belongings.
      • Advantages: Gives people time to prepare, can predict severity of flooding and less property damage and therefore expenses.
      • Disadvantages: People may ignore warnings, buildings and possessions may still be damaged. Most importantly, it doesn't prevent flooding.
    • Land use Management
      • Process of allocation land for floodplain zoning so that the least valuable areas are closest to rivers and most important land is least at risk.
      • Advantages: Cheap and land is saved from flooding. Reduces the effects of the floods as only fields/sports pitches are submerged. Less surface run-off as the land closest to the river is permeable (no concrete)
      • Disadvantages: Land isn't used efficiently as it needs to be zoned. Only new developments can undergo zoning. It doesn't stop flooding.
    • River Restoration
      • Returns rivers to original state before they were managed. Schemes improve water quality, natural habitats and implement soft engineering.
      • Advantages: Restores rivers ruined by management and restores habitats, increases biodiversity, makes the area more attractive to tourists.
      • Disadvantages: Only reduces the effects of flooding, doesn't prevent it. Can waste the money originally invested in hard engineering.
      • River Quaggy-London: widened+  deepened river originally which had increased flooding. Cut a new channel which spilled onto a floodplain rather than Greenwich.
    • Wetland Conservation
      • Turning developed/ arable/ urban land back to its natural habitat as a wetland.
      • Advantages: Creates important habitats and breeding grounds for various species. Increases biodiversity in the area and can increase tourism. Efficient water storage, so when river floods, water returns to the ground.
      • Disadvantages: Reduces land available for crops and urbanisation and doesn't stop flooding.
    • Riverbank Conservation
      • Involves stabilising the riverbank to prevent their collapse and erosion so that it doesn't silt up the river. Trees are planted as roots bind the loose sediment that form the banks.
      • Disadvantages: Doesn't prevent flooding.
      • Prevents silting of the riverbed, keeping it wider and deeper. It provides new habitats, improves diversity and protects the natural river environment.

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