The Management of Rivers in Developed Countries to Prevent Flooding.

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The Management of Rivers in

Developed Countries to

Prevent Flooding

        As the world has become more developed in certain countries, settlements have always been drawn to rivers. The supply of water is necessary for consumption, industry and transportation and therefore major cities have grown up around rivers e.g. The Thames-London, The Mississippi-New Orleans, Memphis etc.

        A natural thing for a river to do is to flood and with the impermeable materials laid down in cities, flood risks increase. The risk of flood is dangerous in cities where population density is high and more people would be effected, so this flood risk is always trying to be reduced.

        The Mississippi in North America is 3000km long and has a drainage basin three times as big as the whole of the British Isles. This massive river was always going to attract settlement and did as large cities have sprouted up along its course e.g. Memphis, New Orleans, St. Louis etc. One of the ways that early settlers used to reduce flood risk and work the river to their advantage was to build Wind Dykes and Levees.

        Wind Dykes are walls of rock/(now more recently) concrete that jut out in a river and traps water inside and forces it to deposit sediment. This builds up natural levees/dykes and the narrowing of the river forced erosion to occur vertically instead of laterally. This was good for boats, and further levees were built on the flood plain to lessen the risk of flood on the Mississippi.

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        In 1927 there was a large flood and people realised that the main flood risk wasn’t from the Mississippi river itself but from its main tributaries; The Missouri; Ohio; Tennessee. So levees were built along the whole course of the Mississippi and its main tributaries. Levee’s are used all over the world and were originally made from natural materials (more recently made from concrete) and are built along flood plains. They provide protection from the river when it is in flood as the flood water builds up inside the levees. Although this is quite and effective form of management in ...

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