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The threat of flooding along the Thames Estuary is an issue of increasing importance.

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Introduction

The threat of flooding along the Thames Estuary is an issue of increasing importance. At present, around 1.5 million people live in areas at risk of flooding in London. There are also many people who work, visit or travel through these potentially vulnerable areas. The number of people at risk is likely to increase as development continues to take place on floodplains and low lying regions, and the threats associated with global warming, such as sea level rise and storm events, continue to intensify. Causes of potential flooding in the London estuary fall into two different categories: Human and Physical. The human category are causes provoked by humans, these would not have occurred if humans were not present. Physical causes are natural and would have occurred wherever or not there was human inhabitant. The human causes are as followed: * 120,000 new homes are to be built in the flood plains (13 of 14 zones in the prime gate way are at risk of flooding). ...read more.

Middle

Both contribute to increasing tidal behaviour above previous ordinance survey Newlyn; causing greater chances of overwhelming defences. Climate scenarios carry a large amount of uncertainties great variations exist when forecasting. Green house gas emissions are easily measured, but radioactive forcing; climate sensitivity and time-lag cause uncertainties thus affecting investment decisions. This rise could be 90cm under highest emissions scenarios. More alarming "not implausible" events e.g. sudden collapse of the west Antarctic ice sheet could produce 5 meters rise by 2125 leaving London with 3 drastic options: ==> Protection (building an outer barrier) ==> Abandoning ==> Reshaping I believe there are 3 main solutions to prevent flooding in the future: > Raise the Thames Barrier. > Stop building on the Thames Gateway > Design flood proof buildings. Raise the Thames Barrier The Thames Barrier is one of the largest movable flood barriers in the world. The Environment Agency runs and maintains the Thames Barrier as well as the capital's other flood defences. ...read more.

Conclusion

Advantages: You can continue to build on the Thames Gateway as the buildings won't be affected that much If floods occur the damage won't be large Disadvantages: Buildings may be less stable if not built properly Building may not look as appealing to the eye. The solution I would choose is design flood proof buildings as it would be the most benefited. There are already many buildings lining the Thames and to add a few characteristics would not cost a lot. Many building projects are taking place along the Thames Gateway, this is a high risk flood area and to add a few things that will benefit the people and the buildings wouldn't be that difficult. The houses that are already there could be reinforced with different interior such as removable wooden panelling or water proof objects. Alongside items which can be taken to the top of the house at short notice. This will mean homeowners will not have to move house. There fore I believe you should choose this solution to overcome problems which may be faced in the near future. ...read more.

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