Every year I see these sort of news articles where states are flooded particularly due to their geographical location and vicinity to flood prone areas, however year after year there is no improvement in the same. Every year lots of lives are lost, properties destroyed, and people displaces and this made me wonder is there no good plan that such an area can follow?

Is there nothing the Government can do for the remainder of the year so that they can prevent and minimize damage? Are there places like this which have successfully minimized damage over the years?

I believe the loss of life and property is too high and happens every year or so hence investing in solutions must be a good choice still we don't see it happening at a large enough scale to make a difference is it due to unwillingness of the bureaucracy?

  • $\begingroup$ there is countless examples on how to avoid flooding in populated areas,the common thing with all of the projects are it costs lots of money.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flood_control $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 31, 2020 at 17:54
  • $\begingroup$ @trondhansen I've updated the question a bit $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 31, 2020 at 23:59

1 Answer 1


Flood control measures largely depend on:

  • The amount of money available to create flood control measures
  • The availability of raw materials that could be used to create such measures
  • The locality of the potentially flood affected region
  • The source of potential flooding and its relation to the region that could be flooded.

One extreme example is Bangladesh.

Most of Bangladesh is located within the delta region of the Ganges and Brahmaputra Rivers; that is where the two rivers meet the ocean.

The region is flat and devoid of easily accessible sources of natural rock. Elsewhere, competent rock, such a basalt, can be located, extracted and crushed to form aggregate that can be used as a construction material. Because Bangladesh lacks such rock sources it needs to bake clay to create a form of aggregate.

Being positioned at the tail end of two major rivers, the government of Bangladesh does not have control of significant reaches of the rivers to create flood control structures further upstream.

Politically and religiously, flood control measures on either of these rivers could cause a lot Hindus to become very upset.

Financially, Bangladesh is a poor country with a population of 162 million people. If it were able to construct flood control devices on the two rivers, it would also need to construct flood prevention devices along its coast as the combination of flood waters from the rivers and high tides from the ocean can exacerbate flooding and its effects on the country.

Finally, rising sea levels from climate change are only going to make matters worse for Bangladesh, because it is a very low lying country.

Edit 2 August 2020

Concerning successful flood control measures, two quickly come to mind, the Thames Barrier in London, England and the Aswan Dam in Egypt, particularly the Aswan High Dam.

The Thames Barrier is a movable barrier system that is designed to prevent the floodplain of most of Greater London from being flooded by exceptionally high tides and storm surges moving up from the North Sea. It has been operational since 1982. When needed, it is closed (raised) during high tide; at low tide, it can be opened to restore the river's flow towards the sea.

Based on the success of the Low Dam, then at its maximum utilization, construction of the High Dam became a key objective of the government following the Egyptian Revolution of 1952; with its ability to better control flooding, provide increased water storage for irrigation and generate hydroelectricity the dam was seen as pivotal to Egypt's planned industrialization. Like the earlier implementation, the High Dam has had a significant effect on the economy and culture of Egypt.

  • $\begingroup$ You do mention that it is a poor country but can you give some context to how much would it really cost them compared to how much they lose each year? excellent answer otherwise btw $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 1, 2020 at 3:46
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Apparently Bangladesh already spends 20% of its Budget on water development projects. $\endgroup$
    – Fred
    Commented Aug 1, 2020 at 4:53
  • $\begingroup$ Oh thanks for the sources $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 1, 2020 at 5:24
  • $\begingroup$ Btw can you share some successful examples of flood control as well? $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 1, 2020 at 17:35
  • $\begingroup$ See edited answer $\endgroup$
    – Fred
    Commented Aug 2, 2020 at 10:57

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.