With reference to one or more river basins, describe and explain the different impacts of flooding. (25)
Floods make a big impact on the environment and society. Floods can destroy drainage systems in cities. Also in cases of severe floods, buildings can be damaged and even destroyed. This can lead to catastrophic events on the environment and society. Floods also cause millions of pounds worth of damage. However, floods do have a slight positive effect on the environment as floods spread sediment-containing nutrients to soil that might never arrive there otherwise.
One example of a river basin that had an impact on the environment and society when it flooded was when Bangladesh suffered one of its worse floods ever, between July and September 1998. Flooding is common in Bangladesh however the floods of 1998 were severe causing over 1000 deaths and 30 million people being made homeless and newspaper headlines were full of headlines of the floods.
The flood was caused by many natural causes, Bangladesh is a very low lying country with 70% of its land area being less than 1m above sea level and 80% of it being flood plain. Bangladesh also had two major rivers running through it (the Ganges and Brahmaputra) this forms a huge delta, both rivers have large volumes of water flowing through them to the sea as they have large drainage basins this increases the flood risk. Bangladesh also has a monsoon climate and the annual torrential rains often results in the rivers overflowing and therefore flooding. The flood was also influenced by many human causes, including the increasing population. Deforestation was also a major cause as it is believed to be responsible for the increased soil erosion, and reducing channel capacity and therefore increasing the likelihood of flooding. Bangladesh is also a LEDC (less economically developed country) and its lack of money and heavy national debt means that little money is available to spend on flood protection methods/defenses.
... time. The Yangtze River frequently experiences flooding, and one of the main causes of this is rapid snowmelt, and Bangladesh suffers from snow ... One example of this which is particularly prominent in cold environments is snow melt. This means that a large amount of ... an increase of water into the system thus triggering a flood event to occur. These factors vary depending on if the flooding is ...
The flooding did have positive impacts on the environment and it is important to remember that whilst flooding has a serious negative impact to society it also has a positive impact on the environment. The flooding provided water for crops and when flooding occurs it results in the deposition of rich fertile soil resulting in the providing of important nutrients enabling people to grow crops. Another positive effect is that the deposition of silt creates land upon which people can live- for example the Ganges delta has been formed in this way as deposition has occurred where the river has entered the bay of the Bengal. However the 1998 floods had many negative effects, which in a way outweigh the positives. Over two thirds of the land area was covered by water and the capital Dhaka, was 2m under water this obviously caused major damage to business, homes and even put many lives at risk. The floods resulted in making 30 million people homeless and many people lost everything they owned, the floods caused 1,070 people to die, the death toll resulted from a number of things, as well as people dying from drowning in the flood waters, health problems increased the number of deaths further such as contamination of water by waste and dead bodies/animals, and the lack of clean water supply spread disease rapidly such as cholera and typhoid.
Water covers 70% of the Earth’s surface and makes up over 60% of the human body. Water pollution affects marine ecosystems, wildlife health, and human well-being. The answer to solving pollution is to make changes in our daily habits and pay more attention to the types of products we consume. The following lists display causes of water pollution and the effects it has on human health and the ...
Further deaths were caused by snakebites and other injuries, which led to death, as there was a lack of access to medical care. Food supplies were severely affected as flooding destroyed the rice stocks with a total of over 600,000 crops being destroyed. This also had an impact on the economy was significant on Bangladesh’s export industries seeing a 20% depreciation in production with over 400 clothing factories being forced to close. Communications also became difficult, with shopping impossible in the main port, as well as roads and railways having been swept away making the distribution of aid and the rescue operation very difficult.
So in conclusion the Bangladesh flood of 1998 had major negative effects mainly on the socio-economic side of things, but did have some positive effects on the environment. The flood had an effect on basically everything from physical damage such as damage to bridges, cars, buildings and any other types of structure, casualties and epidemics and spread of diseases. To secondary effects such as water supplies, crops and food supplies and tertiary/long-term effects. Flooding also has a big impact on the economy such as decline in tourism, rebuilding costs, food shortages leading the price increases. Overall the negative effects of flooding outweigh the positives as the flood caused a lot more damage to the socio-economic side of things.