Major flooding by insufficient drainage infrastructure

Juan Garcia R. Major flooding by insufficient drainage infrastructure.

Information Newspaper , Alicante, Spain Pág.28, 14/10/2008/

It is necessary to take measures in time to fight a strategic and effective control against floods and economic damage, material and human resources that cause the excessive waters, we should not wait until there are high losses as a result of the flooding for to develop a strategy for more effective control of the water. The autumn of 2008 has started with heavy rain, in the period 21al September 26, and there are regions in southern Spain within: Valencia, Murcia, Andalucia, Extremadura, Castilla-La Mancha that the heavy storms have caused the overflow of rivers, flooding of agricultural areas, loss of crops, flooding in the city, loss of commercial and industrial products, damage to roads and electricity supply.

It should also be noted that the heavy rains have caused flooding in the town of Coslada in Madrid where in addition to the losses caused in urban areas by the floods, a woman dies dragged by water and is finally trapped under a car , The communities of Ceuta and Melilla located on the northern coast of the African Continent has also suffered the ravages of floods during the period from 27 to Sept. 29, with cumulative rainfall exceeding the 400 and 100 respectively litros/m2, which have caused flooding in parts of the city, affecting shopping malls, damaging homes and power.

The accumulated rainfall in the region of Valencia earlier this fall have been intense in some areas, surpassing the 300 l/m2, with an average intensity of 2.4 litres / min. in the Municipality of Sweden, which recorded a rainfall of 144 litres in one hour. Only two weeks have gone by the heavy rain stopped there in Valencia, but again the cold drop appear in the Northern Counties of Alicante and south of Valencia, causing the overflow of major rivers and flooding low zones near rivers and tributaries, with a rainfall recorded in the swamp of Beniarrés in the province of Alicante 200 litros/m2 in 24 hours, for an accumulated value of rainfall in the area of 447 litros/m2 within 72 hours hard to bad weather In Spain the floods caused by the cold drop represent a great danger and have a devastating action, mainly in the Mediterranean zone, where there are areas which have recorded rainfall of around 800 l/m2 in a little over 2 hours, as was the case Olive in Valencia on 5 November 1987, with an average intensity of 6 litres / min., which is considered very high.

In this autumn have been put in place plans against floods, but there are still major problems to resolve, because every year mainly from September to March is the period of increased rainfall and there is a higher probability of flooding point because appear the cold drop, which is a weather phenomenon that can cause heavy rainfall and still we are not well protected in combating the effects induced by it. Within cities there are many areas with poor drainage system that is incapable of evacuating large volumes of water in a short time, have also built many houses and commercial areas in ancient water channels, but when there are heavy rains, the waters tend to regain its former river bed especially if it is not well protected, which results in human casualties and material damage.

On the other hand the rapid urban development on numerous occasions has not valued enough to guarantee the sewage plan and facilities protection against flooding outside, there are also areas of agricultural irrigation and without irrigation who are not properly protected with efficient drainage systems, which causes flood large areas and causing losses worth millions in urban areas, agriculture and livestock. There are urban areas and agricultural zones that have been affected several times by floods, which indicate that demand immediate action by the State and Communities to achieve a plan of action more effective.

The fight against floods and drought should be treated as a problem integral whole, it is necessary to undertake a hydraulic development plan of the country, involving more investments, more dams, more irrigation systems, most water solutions, which can create new infrastructures and to schedule a plan for more effective measures against flooding. First we have problems with the drought to ensure the water demand of different users, after we are affected by floods, which indicates that there are problems with water management and flood control and that with a comprehensive plan to combat drought and floods can have more usable water and a more rational strategy about excessive water, a more careful planning and greater efficiency of water resources will allow achieve the economic goals.

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