Tag Archives: zoning on September 7

Flood control measures encourage settling too close and provoke severe flooding events

Flood control to keep water out of houses seems like a good idea, but it turns out that it causes the flood control measures to keep needing to be raised higher, and it encourages people to build too close to flooding areas, plus “rare and catastrophic events take place”. Like the 2009 “700 year flood” and the four or more floods this year that have overflowed the Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant. In our case, there are also the issues of widespread clearcutting and buildings and streets with impervious cover. The local runoff containment requirements in the various local government zoning codes may be like levees: “flood control structures might even increase flood risk as protection from frequent flooding reduces perceptions of risk”.

This encourages human settlements in floodplain areas, which are then vulnerable to high-consequence and low-probability events.
Much simpler just not to give out building permits for flood zones. Or we could put medical buildings right next to a creek, assuming because it’s never flooded it never will….

Socio-hydrology: conceptualising human-flood interactions, G. Di Baldassarre, A. Viglione, G. Carr, L. Kuil, J. L. Salinas, and G. Bloschl, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 3295–3303, 2013 doi:10.5194/hess-17-3295-2013, © Author(s) 2013. CC Attribution 3.0 License.

Abstract. Over history, humankind has tended to settle near streams Continue reading