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Flood and Drought

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Last updated date: 17th May 2024
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An Introduction to the Effects of Flood

Flood is the most frequent type of natural calamity that may be caused by heavy rainfall or some other factors. It can have various disastrous impacts. The flood may lead to a scarcity of clean drinking water. Drought is the opposite of flood; it is also a natural calamity.


Flood

A flood is usually an excess of water that drowns usually dry land. Usually, there are five types of floods.

  • River flood occurs when the water level of the sea rises above the top of the banks of the river.

  • A coastal flood is an inundation of dry land areas along the coast of seawater.

  • Strome surge is an abnormal increase in the water level in coastal areas.

  • Inland flooding is flooding that does not occur in coastal areas or occurs inland.

  • A Flash flood is a flood that begins after 3-6 hours of heavy rain.


Causes of Flood

There may be many causes of floods. The main causes are given below.

  • Ice and Snow Melt - Some mountains have ice caps on them. When this icecap melts in the summer season, it results in huge releases of water into the places that are usually dry.

  • Lack of Vegetation - vegetation can interrupt the flow of water. If there will be no vegetation, there will be nothing to slow down the flow of water.

  • Broken Dams - When heavy rain comes, the water level increases in the dams and ageing dams can break and can unleash overflows of water in the household.

  • Heavy Rains - Whenever there is heavy rain and the drainage system is not proper, it may result in a flood or flood-like conditions.

  • Climate Change - Climate changes occur mainly due to human practices. Due to deforestation, there will be more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which may lead to the melting of glaciers.

  • Emission of Greenhouse Gases - The burning of fossil fuels can lead to the emission of greenhouse gases which increase the atmospheric temperature and hence there will be melting of the glaciers.


Effects of Flood

  • A flood can harm wildlife.

  • Flood carries contamination and can cause disease.

  • A flood can trigger breeding events and migration.

  • There may be a loss of goods and life in the flood.

  • A flood can cause soil erosion.


Drought

Drought is defined as the prolonged period of dryness in the natural climate cycle.


Causes of Drought

There are natural causes as well as human causes of drought.


Human Causes Include the Following:

  • Overpopulation if too many people living in any particular area and using too much water can lead to scarcity of water.

  • Over cultivation of planting too many plants can use too much water.

  • Deforestation of plant roots can hold some amount of water, but cutting down them may lead to the condition of drought.


Natural Causes Include the Following:

  • Less rainfall for weeks and years may be a major cause of the drought.


Effects of Drought

  • Drought can have various serious impacts on health, economy, and politics.

  • It may result in hunger.

  • Due to lack of water, there will not be enough food crops. Same conditions with the poultry and feed livestock.

  • Wildfire: Due to the drought, there will be a lack of moisture in the soil and environment and if there would be a hotter environment, it may lead to a fire in the forests.

  • The wildlife would be damaged due to a lack of enough water.

  • Water is essential to survive, if there would be a lack of drinking water, people may have various health-related issues such as dehydration.


Conclusion

Flood and drought both are natural calamities. We can prevent these calamities or can reduce the impact of floods and drought by following certain measures. These calamities were majorly due to natural reasons but nowadays we can see an increase in flood and drought due to human interference. Humans are over-exploiting natural resources such as deforestation which causes an imbalance in rain.

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FAQs on Flood and Drought

1. How can we control the drought?

There are some measures we can use to prevent drought.

  • Agriculture and irrigation pattern need to change. 

  • Water transportation channels need to be maintained properly. Leakages need to be amended.

  • We need to prevent deforestation, and thus we require afforestation. 

  • Judicious use of water. Spread awareness for the conservation of water.

  • Try to accumulate as much rainwater as you can. Improving rain harvesting infrastructure. Building more check dams, using munching techniques on farms.

  • Water-intensive industries should be away from water deficit regions.

2. How can we prevent floods?

We can use several methods to prevent flooding:

  • Introduce a better flood warning system.

  • Tackle climate changes.

  • Increase spending on flood defences, here the focus should be on flood resilience rather than defence schemes.

  • Protect wetlands and introduce plant trees or do more and more plantation.

  • Restore rivers to their natural courses.

  • Introduce water storage areas.

  • Improve soil conditions.

  • Put up more flood-barriers.

  • Modify homes and businesses to help them withstand flood.

  • Construct buildings above sea level so that these buildings do not submerge in moderate rain.

3. What are the types of drought? Where do droughts occur?

Drought is of the following types:

  • Meteorological drought 

  • Hydrological drought

  • Agricultural drought 

  • Ecological drought 

Drought can occur in any region of the world. But it mostly occurs in those areas where rainfall is very less.

4. What are the four problems caused by drought?

Health problems related to low water flow and poor water quality. There may be health problems related to dust. Loss of human life may be there. Threat to public and property due to increased number of wildlife fires.