May I suggest alternative methods to avoid towns and villages becoming flooded from ground water.
Whilst dredging has its place to remove debris it only increases the speed of the downward flow in rivers causing irreparable damage to property.
Building even higher walls along the river banks may hold back the rising water but it does seem to make the streets feel like prisons.
Perhaps there should be a better approach to water retention.
The EU continues to seek to compensate the sheep farmers on their hill pastures on the condition that their land can be proven to be suitable for sheep farming.
That means farmers have no alternative to but to clear the land of trees and other natural vegetation which would otherwise assist drainage.
Of course the sheep themselves cause the land to become impacted by their tramping around to such an extent that the water simply runs over it.
As this situation is unlikely to change whilst sheep farming continues in the hills, I believe there are better ways to resolve the problem.
When I worked in India the monsoons certainly caused much flooding.
However, much of the problem was alleviated by the construction of monsoon drains some three feet deep around the buildings which protected the inhabitants of properties around the town.
This should be a planning requirement in areas prone to flooding when properties are built and of course be separated from sewage outflow.
I read somewhere that in Grand Canaria they built storm channels to protect the tourist resorts in a similar way.
If such systems take flood water away from the towns, rather than through them, most of the damage we have recently witnessed could have been avoided.
A further solution would be of course to build large retention basins in the upper regions above the towns with a mechanical system of controlling the water so it did not all flow down hill at the same fast rate and could be retained until conditions were improved.
On a small scale we see this system in place in Rye at Valley Park which is very effective of controlling the rate of flow into the river Tillingham.
Britain needs to live with water whether is fluvial or tidal.
It seems to be foolish and bad economy for the government to cut back as severely as it has done in the last few years when surely the costs of compensation to those affected by flooding (I read £40m is now to passed to local councils to alleviate the plight of those affected in Cheshire) must be more than it would have cost to assist the Environment Agency and other such agencies in constructing defences and maintaining its assets.
The cuts are putting the long-term defences at risk.
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