Hard vs Soft engineering

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  • Created by: Ellie
  • Created on: 03-06-13 17:53

Two strategies to deal with flooding:

Hard engineering: man made structures built to control flow of rivers and reduce flooding.

Soft engineering: schemes set up using knowledge of river and its processes to reduce effects of flooding.

Dams & reservoirs:

  • Dams built across rivers, usually in upper course. A reservoir is lake formed behind dam.
  • Reservoirs store water, especially during periods of heavy/prolongued rain, which reduces risk of flooding.Water in reservoir can be used for drinking or generating HEP.
  • BUT, v.expensive to build, can cause existing settlements to flood, eroded material deposited in reservoir not downstream so farmland may become less fertile.

Channel straightening:

  • River's course straightened; meanders cut out by building artificial straight channels.
  • Water moves out of area more quickly as it doesn't travel as far.
  • BUT may cause more flooding to happen downstream as water carried there faster.
  • Environment Agency warns about possible flood via tv, radio, newspapers &


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