Wednesday 18 July 2018

Alternative way of reducing flood damage

Traditional underground drainage systems might not always be the best way to protect us from flooding, writes Dr Alan O'Connor

Gathering power: Storm Eleanor flexes its muscles at Lahinch, Co Clare. Engineers are developing new ways to limit the impact of such storms and flooding. Photo: Press 22
Gathering power: Storm Eleanor flexes its muscles at Lahinch, Co Clare. Engineers are developing new ways to limit the impact of such storms and flooding. Photo: Press 22

Alan O'Connor

Recent flood events have given people a renewed sense of their long relationship with rivers. Fertile river plains have been the desired location for human settlements since time immemorial. Though as urban settlements have evolved, rivers have become rather divorced from normal life.

We might even find residents entirely oblivious to smaller rivers in built up areas, conveyed in dark culverts under roads and city buildings.

The intensifying phenomenon of climate change has reminded us of the power of water and how limited our ability is to eliminate flooding. Instead we must find innovative engineering solutions to mitigate its effects.

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