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Rivers are systems that require management in terms of flooding, supply, and pollution control. Discuss various strategies using different case studies.

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Introduction

Rivers are systems that require management in terms of flooding, supply, and pollution control. Discuss various strategies using different case studies. Every river experiences a flood in some point in time. This may be due to an effect of heavy rain or humans tampering with the surroundings of the river. However due to the large build up of settlements around rivers flood control is needed as many lives and settlements can be lost during such an event. A good example of flood control can be seen along the Yangtze River. The Yangtze River is the third longest river in the world and is situated on the Tibetan Plateau in china. It reaches a length of 6300km and has a drainage basin of more than 1,683,500 square meters. Since 1931 seven major floods have been recorded. In 1931 there were estimated 28 - 40 million people affected 140,000 of which were deaths. In 1954 there were 33,000 deaths. In 1981 and 1991 floods arose which submerged large areas of land. In 1995 there were 1300 deaths and an astonishing 100 million people affected. ...read more.

Middle

Due to the number of casualties caused by floods it was vitally important that some sort of system of flood control needed to be implemented within the Yangtze river. Due to the large variance of the river height of the Yangtze river resulting in flooding, this area needed to be addressed. This was done by implementing a 10 - 20 year frequency by repairing and/or strengthening current levees. Water was diverted into large lakes near the Yangtze e.g. into the Dongting lake. Flood diversion areas were also made. However the areas in which there "diversion areas" divert water to are relatively highly populated areas (population exceeding 400,000). The main flood control system that was implemented is the three gorges dam as it lets the main flow of water out gradually decreasing the chance of flooding. This has two uses as it decreases chance of flooding and provides a relatively reliable source of electricity for some parts of china (as theirs such an abundance of water energy). Figure one shows the main features of flood control along the Yangtze river. ...read more.

Conclusion

However By 1946, the situation had deteriorated even more. Due to this the International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine Against Pollution (ICPR) was formed. In 1986 there was a serious incident, which led to the Rhine Action programme (RAP) to be developed. The aim of this programme is that by the year 2000 all of the species such as the salmon which once thrived within the river to be put back. The specific aims of the Rhine Action Programme to protect the river Rhine against Pollution are: * To accelerate the reduction of permanent pollution from all sources * To reduce the risk of accidents and spillages * To improve hydrological and other conditions of the river At the National Level * National laws are made stating how much waste material can be discharged * Industrial plants are obliged to have a permit for their emissions * Pollution taxes are imposed on individuals and industrial plants * Purification and measuring stations are built At the International Level a) There is more co-operation between countries that share the Rhine b) There is an alarm system for every time the concentration of a certain material exceeds its permitted value. c) Plans are made for the conservation and restoration of natural landscapes. ...read more.

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