India is one of the highest flood prone countries around the world. While discussing the flood affected regions, discuss the structural non-structural measures for mitigation of flood related disasters.

Published: September 25, 2017

Floods refer to inundation of land under water. Flood is recurring phenomenon with 40 million hectare of land out of 3290 lakh hectare prone to floods make India highly vulnerable to floods.
Structural measures for flood management are physical in nature and aim to prevent flood waters from reaching potential damage centres
Non-structural measures strive to keep the people away from flood waters.
Structural measures which can be undertaken:

  1. Embankments/Banks, Flood Walls, Flood Levees constructed along the river banks to prevent overflow of water. These act as short term solution for low to medium intensity floods. They can be adopted for rivers in Deccan and along middle course of river in north.
  2. Channel improvement: Channel improvement aims at increasing the area of flow or the velocity of flow (or both) to increase its carrying capacity. In India due to high cost and topological constraint it has not been adopted
  3. Dredging of rivers can be helpful in rivers in Northeastern regions which witness heavy silting as they flow from hills to plains
  4. Urban areas can adopt drainage improvement to allow the water to flow as land reclamation at times leads to congestion.
  5. Diversion of water into a natural or artificially constructed channels, this method again can be used for preventing floods around cities
  6. Watershed Management
  7. Sea Walls or Coastal Protection work to prevent flooding erosion in coastal areas by sea water.

Non-structural Measures which can be undertaken are:

  1. Flood plain zoning especially around rivers which are bound to over flow in event of heavy rainfall in upper catchment. It regulates land use to minimise damage
  2. Flood proofing reduce stress and provide immediate relief. Mixture of structural and non structural measures like providing raised platforms for flood shelter for men and cattle, raising the public utility installation.
  3. Flood forecasting and warning
  4. Integrated water resources management.

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