We hear things retrospectively when we have understood them - Marcel Proust
God did a piss-poor job designing the UK's river system and mankind made it worse. Every time there is a flood there is much hand-wringing and proposals to build reservoirs and watery bypasses. But nothing is done except more hand-wringing the next time. The ancient Greeks and Romans would have this sorted by now and the solutions would look good too.
Roger - too many councils gave planning permission on flood plains too. Once that happens it's difficult to design flood barriers without flooding somebody else.
I remember discussing the flood plain construction and run-off question back in the early 90s with an engineer friend; she predicted the current situation with astonishing accuracy, though I don't suppose she gets much satisfaction in being right.When suggestions were invited for the lottery millenium project, hers was to buy up riverside land in towns and cities and fill it with moisture-retentive organic waste material, creating a continuous network of 'urban water meadows' allowing river expansion and soakaway - and, incidentally, allowing traffic-free cycle paths into the heart of built-up areas.Sadly, it sank without trace.
Bring it on.
Since the 10th century the prevailing flood-control strategy has been 'flood the peasants' and it has not changed.
Mac - maybe floodwater volumes would be too great for your friend's idea, although salt marshes are now being used for a similar purpose to defend certain stretches of coast.James - you have an ark?Roger - I'm afraid that's true. If you must live on a flood plain, at least make sure you live near a toff.
I don't think the idea was to stop flooding altogether - just to hold on to as much water as possible upstream and slow the rise in river levels.It would be the opposite, in fact, of what happened when sluice gates were opened to protect Banbury's new canalside shopping centre; the resulting surge flooded homes in Kidlington, 20 miles downstream, amid much public protest.
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