Why do UK flood defence systems keep letting us down?

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Winter has arrived in the UK and already the flood warnings have begun.Flooded Urban Road With Traffic Lights

Year on year properties across the country are affected by severe flooding, whilst residents question why more isn’t being done to protect homes and businesses.

Many argue that our flood defences just aren’t adequate and that more should be put in place to prevent the floods. Although the calls are on the government to do more, residents and businesses are also taking things into their own hands. Despite this, each year floods hit and cause millions of pounds worth of damage.

So why aren’t the flood defence systems working?

Climate change

One of the biggest arguments for why we are seeing increased flooding is climate change. Increased rainfall puts more pressure on the rivers and causes them to burst their banks. Increases in temperature also cause snow and ice to melt faster which in turn creates more water.

Many scientists suggest that if global warming continues then we will continue to experience severe weather and increased flooding.

This change in our climate was not predicted years ago and so defences were not put in place. This means that we are now struggling to cope with unexpected flooding in areas that have previously never been affected.

Increased population

Not all flooding can be attributed to climate change. As the population increases so does the need for housing and that puts a strain on the drainage in towns and cities.

As well as this, more and more natural flood plains are being used for housing developments. Marshlands and river banks are being built on. These areas previously acted as natural flood defences as the water was absorbed into the trees and plants.

Now these natural flood defences are being removed the likelihood of flooding is greater.

The very fact that homes are being built closer to rivers inevitably puts more homes at risk of flood.

What can be done?

More planning and research needs to be done to understand what is causing the increase in floods and how it can be prevented or reduced. Until we can understand the causes and predict the future of flooding it is hard to ensure that the defences are adequate.

Many argue that the government could be doing more than it is. Some suggest that rivers should be dredged more frequently whilst others argue this won’t help.

Whatever the answer, it is clear that there needs to be more awareness about flooding so homeowners and businesses can be prepared and take precautions. This will at least help minimise the damage where flooding can’t be prevented.

It’s not just the defences that need to be reviewed. The current process in restoring properties after flooding is not sufficient and more needs to be done to get people back in their properties sooner.

Arxell and flooding

Arxell can’t prevent flooding but it can help alleviate the inadequacies of the drying process.

Arxell is a drying system that has been proven to dry out water damaged areas up to three times faster than some alternative methods. This is great news for the flood drying industry.

Whilst the UK tries to reduce the number of properties affected by flood, we can at least reduce the impact by getting affected homeowners back in their homes sooner.

If you would like to know more about how Arxell speeds up the drying process then contact us today to discuss the benefits.