Why does Britain seem to flood a lot more than it used to?
It seems that in recent years Britain has suffered flooding like never before. This means many residents and businesses are displaced and insurance companies pay millions to clean up and repair the damage. So is Britain flooding more than it used to, and if so why?
One of the biggest theories behind the severe weather and increase in floods is climate change. Warm air can hold more moisture; as our atmosphere is gradually warming up, there is more moisture in the air, which means more rain.
Heavier rainfall puts more pressure on the rivers and streams. When the rivers can’t cope with the increase in water levels the banks burst and areas near the river flood.
Heavy rainfall also puts pressure on the drainage systems in urban areas and if they are unable to manage the additional water then this again causes flooding.
Snow often forms in higher areas of the country and gradually melts as spring arrives. If the air is warmer then snow melts faster which puts strain on the streams and rivers.
Change in landscape
The population is increasing so more areas are being built on. Drainage systems can’t always cope with the increase in rainfall and concrete does not absorb water like the natural landscape does.
Plants and trees absorb a lot of water and can help keep flood levels down. As more areas become
concreted over, the less the landscape can cope with heavy rainfall.
Flood plains are becoming increasingly popular for building on. These areas are at risk of flood but they are more appealing to build on because they tend to be flat. As more houses are being built on flood plains the amount of houses affected by flooding will naturally increase.
Marshlands and woodlands have been cleared for agricultural use or development. Both marshland and woodland are extremely good for absorbing excess water but the reduction in these areas has meant water has to go elsewhere.
Dredging is the process of removing the build-up of silt from the river bed. This has been made more difficult in recent years because of concerns that it damages the rivers eco-system. On top of that, it is harder and more expensive to dispose of the silt that is removed than it used to be.
It is not clear whether dredging has a direct impact on flooding but there are many arguments on both sides and it has caused a lot of controversy. Many say that flooding has increased because rivers are not being dredged as frequently as they used to, meaning they are shallower and the water can’t flow as fast.
Others say that dredging the rivers is old-fashioned and would not make a significant difference in the rivers’ ability to cope with increased rain fall.
What does it mean for the future?
Whatever the reason behind increased flooding we need to be prepared. The government is putting more money into flood defences but unfortunately there will still be homes and businesses that flood.
When buildings are flooded the costs can be extreme and it causes huge inconvenience to those that have been affected.
The Arxell drying system has been designed to speed up drying and improve the efficiency of the drying industry.
The Arxell system dries areas up to three times faster than traditional drying methods. On top of that it can be used without having to seal off an area. Works can take place whilst an area is dried.
Although the Arxell system won’t prevent floods from happening, it will help reduce the cost of repairing the damage and get residents back in their homes faster.
For more information on how Arxell is set to revolutionise the drying industry, contact us today.