Thursday, July 17, 2014

Victoria's Green Matters - 17th July 2014

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
A recent study has shown that flash flooding in summer is likely to happen much more frequently across the UK due to the effects of climate change. This can have devastating consequences as shown by the Boscastle floods of 2004.

The research undertaken by Newcastle University and the Met office has found that, although summers will be drier overall, they will be interrupted by more extreme downpours. These sudden bursts of rain can have a much more detrimental effect than steady, prolonged rainfall which is good for our gardens and for replenishing our aquifers.

After prolonged dry weather the ground is hard and often incapable of absorbing large amounts of water. This water runs off, causing flash floods, similar to those experienced here in Deal some weeks ago.

Many factors can influence the occurrence of flash floods including concreted over gardens to provide parking and the lack of drain cleaning services, apparent in recent years. It is perfectly understandable that people want to create parking for several cars in a family but it is vital that drainage is incorporated and this can be achieved in various ways, one of which is to use gravel over a water permeable membrane.

Poor farming techniques also contribute greatly to water runoff higher up the chain where the ground has been denuded of vegetation and trees to create grazing for animals. Trees and shrubs keep the soil aerated and able to absorb large amounts of water and we need to reconsider our practices.

Victoria Nicholls. Transition Deal.

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