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Flood relief or avoidance?

...on serious topics that don't fit anywhere else at present.
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Dave B
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Flood relief or avoidance?

#1 Postby Dave B » December 9th, 2015, 5:14 pm

Billions of pounds will be spent compensating flood victims and building new defences. Does this make sense if the climate change lobby is correct?

Might it not be hetter to use the money to rebuild communities well above the expected flood levels and leave the river margins to the rivers?

One predicted outcome of ever higher flood barriers is thst, for most of the time, the river will be hidden behind less than attractive walls, not exactly scenic! Making the walls strong enough may involved changing the use of the area immediately next to tye watercourse - building bastions on roads and even demolishing buildings.

Relocation will be traumatic but could it be the better long term answer? Better than repeated trauma and ever escalating insurance bills?

Certainly building should be stopped on any land with the possible risk of flooding, better to use that as overspill catchmentl
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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jaywhat
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Re: Flood relief or avoidance?

#2 Postby jaywhat » December 9th, 2015, 7:22 pm

Some flooding can be avoided by changing the arrangements for dealing with blockages to stop excess water building up. I know what I mean but .............!

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Dave B
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Re: Flood relief or avoidance?

#3 Postby Dave B » December 9th, 2015, 8:15 pm

Yes, there are some places that can manage some degree of flooding but, as with parts of the east coast there are times when trying to "push the river" (or sea) into paths it does not want takes huge and expensive infrastructure - that only has limited effectiveness as any resident of New Orleans will tell you.

The US government spent lots of money and time on defences there that still failed. If the "things will get worse" group are right how many more billions will be needed to, repeatedly, shore up the homes of a relatively small part of the population? Rivers will be in walls or banks several meters high.

Better to build new communities on safer ground? Well, we can always hope that such communities are better than sone of the "barrack towns" some councils and developers opt for to save money. But I would not hold my breath.

Still, not having to dry out (over up to 12 months), refurnish and pay higher premiums on an effectively valueless* house every time the water tops a new record . . . Or look out on a vista of huge amounts of very expensive concrete . . .

*In terms of what price it would sell for compared to buying anything like it elsewhere.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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Alan H
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Re: Flood relief or avoidance?

#4 Postby Alan H » December 9th, 2015, 10:24 pm

Dave B wrote:Yes, there are some places that can manage some degree of flooding but, as with parts of the east coast there are times when trying to "push the river" (or sea) into paths it does not want takes huge and expensive infrastructure - that only has limited effectiveness as any resident of New Orleans will tell you.

The US government spent lots of money and time on defences there that still failed. If the "things will get worse" group are right how many more billions will be needed to, repeatedly, shore up the homes of a relatively small part of the population? Rivers will be in walls or banks several meters high.

Better to build new communities on safer ground? Well, we can always hope that such communities are better than sone of the "barrack towns" some councils and developers opt for to save money. But I would not hold my breath.

Still, not having to dry out (over up to 12 months), refurnish and pay higher premiums on an effectively valueless* house every time the water tops a new record . . . Or look out on a vista of huge amounts of very expensive concrete . . .

*In terms of what price it would sell for compared to buying anything like it elsewhere.
Why bother? The market will take care of it. Insurance premiums will rise to compensate for the money they have to pay out, people will move away from the area and no one new will want to move in, so the floods can happen with the Government not having to pay out any more... Trust market forces to solve all our problems...
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Dave B
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Re: Flood relief or avoidance?

#5 Postby Dave B » December 10th, 2015, 9:12 am

Alan H wrote:
Dave B wrote:Yes, there are some places that can manage some degree of flooding but, as with parts of the east coast there are times when trying to "push the river" (or sea) into paths it does not want takes huge and expensive infrastructure - that only has limited effectiveness as any resident of New Orleans will tell you.

The US government spent lots of money and time on defences there that still failed. If the "things will get worse" group are right how many more billions will be needed to, repeatedly, shore up the homes of a relatively small part of the population? Rivers will be in walls or banks several meters high.

Better to build new communities on safer ground? Well, we can always hope that such communities are better than sone of the "barrack towns" some councils and developers opt for to save money. But I would not hold my breath.

Still, not having to dry out (over up to 12 months), refurnish and pay higher premiums on an effectively valueless* house every time the water tops a new record . . . Or look out on a vista of huge amounts of very expensive concrete . . .

*In terms of what price it would sell for compared to buying anything like it elsewhere.
Why bother? The market will take care of it. Insurance premiums will rise to compensate for the money they have to pay out, people will move away from the area and no one new will want to move in, so the floods can happen with the Government not having to pay out any more... Trust market forces to solve all our problems...


Problem is, for purely political reasons, bucket loads of tax money will probably be poured into defences even as those being defended head for the high ground!
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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jaywhat
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Re: Flood relief or avoidance?

#6 Postby jaywhat » December 17th, 2015, 7:06 am

Dave B wrote:Problem is, for purely political reasons, bucket loads of tax money will probably be poured into defences even as those being defended head for the high ground!


Wouldn't bucket loads increase flood problems? :D

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lewist
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Re: Flood relief or avoidance?

#7 Postby lewist » December 17th, 2015, 7:43 am

A policy of not building on flood plains would rule out any further building in large areas, particularly in England. It might be better to look abroad for better solutions. My brother's house in North Carolina is built on stilts to protect it from the huge rises in water levels that happen during hurricanes. In Western Schleswig Holstein, they construct Haligen, artificial hills that lift houses above flood level.
Carpe diem. Savour every moment.

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Dave B
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Re: Flood relief or avoidance?

#8 Postby Dave B » December 17th, 2015, 9:14 am

lewist wrote:A policy of not building on flood plains would rule out any further building in large areas, particularly in England. It might be better to look abroad for better solutions. My brother's house in North Carolina is built on stilts to protect it from the huge rises in water levels that happen during hurricanes. In Western Schleswig Holstein, they construct Haligen, artificial hills that lift houses above flood level.

Houses on stilts may be a bit like snow ploughs. Britain tries not to invest in items needed every few decades. If floods had the same frequency as hurricanes in some parts of America ... hang on, it's getting that way.

They have built on a field that regularly floods near here, wonder if the buyers were told that? Wonder how much they invested in land drains etc.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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animist
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Re: Flood relief or avoidance?

#9 Postby animist » December 17th, 2015, 11:11 am

Dave B wrote:Billions of pounds will be spent compensating flood victims and building new defences. Does this make sense if the climate change lobby is correct?

Might it not be hetter to use the money to rebuild communities well above the expected flood levels and leave the river margins to the rivers?
or even better - to remove the climate change behind the flooding

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Dave B
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Re: Flood relief or avoidance?

#10 Postby Dave B » December 17th, 2015, 4:49 pm

animist wrote:
Dave B wrote:Billions of pounds will be spent compensating flood victims and building new defences. Does this make sense if the climate change lobby is correct?

Might it not be hetter to use the money to rebuild communities well above the expected flood levels and leave the river margins to the rivers?
or even better - to remove the climate change behind the flooding
Can'argue with that but, in the near future (like 10y) I would not put my money on the real solution - I would not live long enough to collect!
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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Alan H
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Re: Flood relief or avoidance?

#11 Postby Alan H » December 27th, 2015, 2:21 pm

This happened five years ago: More than 1,000 flood defence schemes left without government funding
Number of schemes receiving money down from 1,500 to 356, with major projects in Leeds, Thirsk and Morpeth hit


This is today: Hundreds evacuated after further flooding in northern England – latest updates
Army called in as flooding misery continues in York, Leeds and elsewhere
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Dave B
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Re: Flood relief or avoidance?

#12 Postby Dave B » December 27th, 2015, 4:56 pm

Well, what a coincidence...
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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Alan H
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Re: Flood relief or avoidance?

#13 Postby Alan H » December 27th, 2015, 6:27 pm

I may have posted this before, but from February (the last time people were devastated by floods): Are the UK floods Cameron’s Katrina?
3) The government’s philosophy towards the public sector is to roll back or privatise. No doubt there are some areas where this makes sense, but in others it is undoubtedly causing distress and hardship. Yet those affected typically have little political voice, and so are not too visible. In addition, many in the government have encouraged the idea that recipients of the welfare state are either undeserving, or victims of a dependency culture. In contrast, flood victims are very visible, and a strategy of blaming the victims will not work politically.

So far the government’s attempts to avoid criticism have been remarkably successful. The strategy was clear - target the environment agency. Not those working on the ground, who were obviously working their socks off, but senior management at the agency, and in particular its chairman Chris Smith. The story was that the agency had been giving the government the wrong advice.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Nick
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Re: Flood relief or avoidance?

#14 Postby Nick » December 29th, 2015, 2:56 pm

One aspect which hasn't been aired much, if at all, is the near-ending of dredging of rivers, at the behest of the EU. This has had a devastating effect on rivers capacity to cope with large amounts of rainfall, as we saw in Somerset last year.

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Alan H
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Re: Flood relief or avoidance?

#15 Postby Alan H » December 29th, 2015, 3:48 pm

Nick wrote:One aspect which hasn't been aired much, if at all, is the near-ending of dredging of rivers, at the behest of the EU. This has had a devastating effect on rivers capacity to cope with large amounts of rainfall, as we saw in Somerset last year.

Dredging rivers won't stop floods. It will make them worse
A presentation by the [Environment Agency], called To Dredge or Not to Dredge?, spells out the problems in terms that even ministers can understand: "The river channel is not large enough to contain extreme floods, even after dredging. Dredging of river channels does not prevent flooding during extreme river flows … The concept of dredging to prevent extreme flooding is equivalent to trying to squeeze the volume of water held by a floodplain within the volume of water held in the river channel. Since the floodplain volume is usually many times larger than the channel volume, the concept becomes a major engineering project and a major environmental change."

Is that not bleeding obvious? A river's capacity is tiny by comparison to the catchment from which it draws its water. You can increase the flow of a river by dredging, but that is likely to cause faster and more dangerous floods downstream when the water hits the nearest urban bridge (something the residents of towns like Taunton and Bridgwater should be worried about). If you cut it off from its floodplain by turning it into a deep trench, you might raise its capacity from, say, 2% of the water moving through the catchment to 4%. You will have solved nothing while creating a host of new problems.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Dave B
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Joined: May 17th, 2010, 9:15 pm

Re: Flood relief or avoidance?

#16 Postby Dave B » December 30th, 2015, 6:13 pm

It seems that Holland came to the conclusion that forever building higher defences has no future.

Rather they have abandoned land, even towns, that flood freqently - given it back to the river. I understand the heart ache, the breaks in tradition and heritage and tbe cost of such a policy but the alternative - flood barriers so high you need to be on the first floor to see over them, - a viable solution?

Better to move to the high ground!
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

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getreal
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Re: Flood relief or avoidance?

#17 Postby getreal » December 30th, 2015, 7:45 pm

Apparently the large grants given to grouse moor owners to build and maintain drains to divert the water off the peat moors simply diverts the water lower down, rather than allowing the moor land to absorb the water, as it would do if left alone.

http://www.monbiot.com/2015/12/29/going-downhill-fast/



http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfre ... drain-land
"It's hard to put a leash on a dog once you've put a crown on his head"-Tyrion Lannister.

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Dave B
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Re: Flood relief or avoidance?

#18 Postby Dave B » December 30th, 2015, 8:27 pm

getreal wrote:Apparently the large grants given to grouse moor owners to build and maintain drains to divert the water off the peat moors simply diverts the water lower down, rather than allowing the moor land to absorb the water, as it would do if left alone.

http://www.monbiot.com/2015/12/29/going-downhill-fast/



http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfre ... drain-land
Sounds about right, the peasants can suffer for the fat cats' pleasure. :sad2:

So often has this sort of greedy quest for pleasure or prophet caused havoc through flooding, land slides, forest loss, polution and the like.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015


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