The management of the river Mississippi
In river Mississippi about seventeen thousand square miles of land which are covered by floodwater. From April and all through the summer, record heavy rain fell across the north part of the Mississippi drainage basin. The floods were made worse by the saturated ground and the engineering schemes along the river banks.
The river engineering has contributed to statistically significant increase in flood over the past years.
Soft engineering involves the use of the flood plain as a flood water stores, restoring it to its natural function. Stores may be natural swaps, wetland or agricultural land. Hydrologists and those involved in flood management are recognising the importance of non structural approaches. Accepting that flooding cannot be controlled but the effects can be alleviated. This means that it allows designated areas to flood; creating or restoring habitat diversity (swamps, wetlands or agricultural land); relocating levees away from the river; afforestation which is replanting trees around a river; diversionary spillways/flood relief channel; flood forecasting and planning. These means that it is better to use soft engineering because it is cheaper and also reduces the flood rather than hard engineering which is expensive and cause more damage.
Hard engineering techniques that have been used are:
* A damns which is build in upper river valley and designed to store water.
* Levees that increases the height of the river banks.
* Straightening meanders which increase the speed of the river to remove coater from affected area.
* Spillways overflow channels that allow rivers to flood areas of unused land or areas which do not cause much damage.
These shows that hard engineering is not a good way of protecting the rivers from flood because it shows that hard engineering causes more damage than soft engineering.