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Floods and devastation


Paul Morgan e2
13 16.1k 6 England
16 Feb 2014 8:02PM
We are pretty much seeing what happened in 47 (linked on the other page) the dredging made then made no difference.

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brian1208 e2
11 10.6k 12 United Kingdom
16 Feb 2014 9:08PM

Quote:We are pretty much seeing what happened in 47 (linked on the other page) the dredging made then made no difference.


that can't possibly be the case Paul, all the Pundits are telling us that its never been so bad and no one knows what's causing it (unless it anthropomorphic global warming of course Tongue )

There isn't one cause so there isn't one solution but replanting the trees on the upland farms, ploughing the contours of hill side fields rather than vertically up and down, removing the upstream flood barriers and reinstating water meadow along with dredging the lowland rivers will all help alleviate the problem

Trouble is there are no subsidies for that, no profits to be made and no interest groups who can be persuaded to vote for the "right political party"

Only pissed off farmers and marsh-men who have managed these situations for generations who were told by then eddicated university types that they didn't know what they were talking about
Paul Morgan e2
13 16.1k 6 England
16 Feb 2014 9:43PM
col_c e2
1 22 United Kingdom
20 Feb 2014 9:41AM
I came across one possible reason why the Environment Agency had decided to stop the dredging

There were probably a couple of reasons why Environment Agency dredging was reduced from former times :

The first is simply money. Governement Cost / Benefit rules set down by the Treasury prevent the EA from spending money where there are relatively few properties - i.e. in rural areas. Chris Smith (EA Chairman) said that the EA did all the dredging it was allowed under these rules in 2013.

The second is that dredging really just moves a flood from one place to another, like traffic congestion is moved when part of a road is widened. In this case the flood would have probably have been moved to the north end of the Levels and Bridgewater.

If the River Parrett is dredged it is pretty clear that with the rainfall event we have just seen that even with the 40% increase in dredged channel section the Somerset Levels would still have flooded. The whole area is at sea level, it has a main river (the Parrett) with a fall of 1 in 5000 over part of its course (i.e. nearly flat) and the second highest tidal range in the world at its mouth. All these things make the Levels a pefect storm for farmers and drainage engineers (no pun intended).
The best bet is probably to slow the water discharge from the headwaters which are in Dorset, but surface water flooding of fields will always happen there, as it does most years, in very wet weather.
Paul Morgan e2
13 16.1k 6 England
20 Feb 2014 9:09PM
The biggest reason was probably due to the improving roads, less and less goods were being transported by boat.

The floods of somerset are nothing new, people have a very short memory.

Warning the sound is terrible so turn it down.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRlRSaeu7PE
tomcat e2
9 6.2k 15 United Kingdom
23 Feb 2014 6:19PM

Quote:We are pretty much seeing what happened in 47


We possibly are Paul, but from what I have seen, most of the flooded properties along the Thames, were not even built then
brian1208 e2
11 10.6k 12 United Kingdom
23 Feb 2014 9:01PM

Quote:We are pretty much seeing what happened in 47

We possibly are Paul, but from what I have seen, most of the flooded properties along the Thames, were not even built then



therein lies the problem, not the storms or the rain, nor yet the flooding, but the sheer stupidity of building house alongside a major river prone to flooding (and then building a diversionary side-stream to that river to prevent the flooding of some of the house up-stream by shedding the additional water downstream and flooding even more houses)

Its much the same mentality that blamed the floods arising after Hurricane Katrina on Global Warming, to hide the fact that if they had maintained the Levees properly a category 3 hurricane would never have breached them one of many articles and the flooding would have been much less severe
mikehit e2
5 7.1k 11 United Kingdom
23 Feb 2014 10:07PM
I remember reading a news report last year that quoted the rising number of deaths in Southern Asia as an indicator of global warming, failing to point out that nearly all deaths are because of the numbers of people being forced to move into flood-prone regions they did not live in 30 years go for totally sensible reasons.
Paul Morgan e2
13 16.1k 6 England
24 Feb 2014 12:25AM

Quote:We are pretty much seeing what happened in 47

We possibly are Paul, but from what I have seen, most of the flooded properties along the Thames, were not even built then

therein lies the problem, not the storms or the rain, nor yet the flooding, but the sheer stupidity of building house alongside a major river prone to flooding (and then building a diversionary side-stream to that river to prevent the flooding of some of the house up-stream by shedding the additional water downstream and flooding even more houses)

Its much the same mentality that blamed the floods arising after Hurricane Katrina on Global Warming, to hide the fact that if they had maintained the Levees properly a category 3 hurricane would never have breached them one of many articles and the flooding would have been much less severe



I know of houses that have been built upon natural flood plains and marshes, but most of the properties I have seen that are flooded are quite old.

The Somerset levels are marshes, maybe they should be growing rice instead of corn.
thewilliam 6 4.9k
24 Feb 2014 10:23AM
In antiquity, the Somerset Levels were usually flooded in winter. Then, back in the 16th century, some Dutch engineers were brought in to supervise a drainage scheme which included construction of the King's drain that we see from the M5. With proper maintenance, the Dutch system worked well until the Environment Agency imposed a different philosophy .....

Before exchanging contracts on our current house, I checked its flood-risk rating. When told us it was "green", we went ahead but many of the local roads are flooded and impassable so our customers can't always get to us.

There'll be many business failures as a direct result of the flooding and I just hope that ours doesn't get on that list!
24 Feb 2014 10:53AM
I read somewhere that the floods started well into the middle ages (however they are defined?) and the locals dealt with the situation themselves by digging moats etc. rather like the Dutch Polder system which has been successful for decades. Why we ever stopped the old system perhaps we will never know, but the old engineers managed it along with farmers and rural dwellers.
There again why not build on piles to keep building ground floors above any water level that could be imagined? It is not rocket science, just engineering basics.
thewilliam 6 4.9k
24 Feb 2014 2:20PM
It may be that the Environment Agency has seen itself primarily as a protector of wildlife. Dredging the rivers and rhynes does damage the habitat of water-voles and other creatures.

Furthermore, using the dredged silt as a fertilizer is no longer legal because it's now in the highest classification of "special waste", along with spent nuclear fuel. The disposal cost of this formerly valuable silt is now well into 3 figures per tonne. No wonder that the bean-counters reckon it's cheaper to let the farms flood!
mikehit e2
5 7.1k 11 United Kingdom
24 Feb 2014 2:49PM

Quote:

Furthermore, using the dredged silt as a fertilizer is no longer legal because it's now in the highest classification of "special waste", along with spent nuclear fuel.



I don't understand that. This is from the EA's own website
http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/business/topics/permitting/116322.aspx


Quote:Example activities include:

A contractor is involved in clearing silt and plant matter from sections of a river and deposits the dredgings on the banks of the river.


What types of activities can I do?

You can:

spread listed wastes on agricultural land to improve or maintain the physical, chemical and biological properties of the soil.

thewilliam 6 4.9k
24 Feb 2014 4:43PM
Maybe the EA folk haven't read their own directives. I can only go by the pathetic excuses given to the Somerset peasantry for the cessation of dredging.
mikehit e2
5 7.1k 11 United Kingdom
24 Feb 2014 5:15PM
I guess if they allowed it they would have to pay for it Tongue

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