Dam Solutions - Flood Management
Dams for flood control disrupt the natural flow
Often, safety concerns and flood control lose out to the direct economic interest of keeping a dam full. And this is just one of the problems with dams for flood prevention.
Strategies have shifted from a focus on structural responses to more non-structural solutions as part of an integrated flood management approach.
There are almost always alternatives to dam construction for flood control
Floodplains and wetlands, the broad flat areas near rivers and lakes, act like natural sponges. They allow large volumes of water to be stored and slowly and safely released down rivers and into the groundwater. But they are often drained and cut off to make room for agriculture and development.
The scale of floods can be reduced by protecting floodplains and wetlands
The economic value of wetlands' flood control services should not be underestimated. According to a WWF study, the median economic value of the flood control provided by a medium-sized wetland is about US$464 per ha per year.