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“The society which has abolished every kind of adventure makes its own abolition the only possible adventure.” Paris, May 1968
Saturday, 1 February 2014
Flood Risk Management, or Flood Control as it used to be known, has no quick fix, one size fits all answers to this winter's flooding of the Somerset Levels. Broadly speaking the discipline can be sub-divided into hard (steel and concrete drainage channels and flood defences) and soft (managed retreat) engineering. Neither hard or soft engineering has all of the answers for every catchment area but the fact remains that the Environment Agency have had a no dredging policy for a number of years now due to concerns about biodiversity. Rivers and smaller water courses are essentially drainage systems and a blocked drain is no drain at all. The "environment" is not some "other place" populated by lovely plants and animals and threatened by nasty Tory farmers and suchlike. The environment is right here where we all live, and we manage the environment for our, hopefully long term, benefit. We can't help the weather but, in part at least, this year's floods look a bit like bad management. The E.A flood engineers on the ground are a dedicated bunch of knowledgable people. Perhaps they should just be left to get on with the job.