How Can We Prevent Flooding?

How can we prevent flooding?

River management

Steps can be taken to manage flooding. Often these steps involve trying to lengthen the amount of time it takes for the water to hit the river channel. Flood management techniques can be divided into hard and soft enginnering options.

Hard options tend to be more expensive and have a greater impact on the river and the surrounding landscape.

Soft options are more ecologically sensitive.

Here are some examples of hard enginnering techniques and how they help manage flooding:

Hard Engineering Techniques:

Dams Construction:

  • Dams are often built along the course of the river in order to controll the amount of discharge. Water is held back by the dam and released in a controlled way.  This is an effective way of controlling flooding.
  • Water is usually stored in a reservior behind the dam. This water then can be used to generate hydroelectric power or for recreation purposes.
  • Building a dam can be very expensive
  • Sediment often builds up behind the dam, leading to further erosion downstream.
  • Settlement and agricultural land may be lost when the river valley is flooded to form


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