Deforestation and Urbanization
With more frequently occurring deforestation and urbanization, floods
have worsened. The effects of deforestation and urbanization have caused
an increase in flooding especially when in underdeveloped regions. Deforestation
is the removal of trees from a natural or man-made area. In developed
countries it is less significant because we have already reconstructed
our land immensely that caused major deforestation, which has taken place
a long time ago.
Today, however, we still try to prevent deforestation by regulating
the lumber industry. One major effect of deforestation is the soil erosion.
The land no longer has trees to absorb water, which causes water to fill
more into the ground causing excess amounts to build up. The ground cannot
hold all of this water and when there are big rains there is no place
for it to go. The water then drains into rivers and other bodies of water,
thus causing flooding. The effect of urbanization has portrayed the same
effects as deforestation. In the past decades we have developed our land
more and more. The removal of vegetation and soil, the grading of land
surface and the construction of drainage networks, are all contributing
factors to the increasing runoff into rivers and streams. In developed
countries efforts are made to counteract the damage caused by urbanization.
When the land is reconstructed usually stream channels are changed, which
can cause the stream not be able to hold as much as before. Therefore,
with less capacity in rivers and streams and more runoff, there is a greater
risk of a flood. New neighborhoods or buildings are at risk of floodwaters
when there is a nearby river or stream in their new area. The use of land
by humans can also contribute to high amounts of runoff.