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Why beaver-like dams can protect communities from flooding - new research

Wilson, Catherine ORCID:, Follett, Elizabeth ORCID: and Muhawenimana, Valentine ORCID: 2023. Why beaver-like dams can protect communities from flooding - new research. The Conversation 2023 (21 Aug)

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Low cost, human-made river barriers, similar to those built by beavers, can protect communities at risk of flooding. Our new research has found that such natural barriers intentionally increase water levels upstream to slow down river flow. These flood barriers are made of materials like logs, branches, mud and leaves. They reduce downstream water levels by deliberately blocking the river and storing the water. They then slow down the river flow during a storm. Using natural processes to temporarily store water above and below ground is called natural flood management. It essentially involves using nature as a sponge to soak up rainwater. Not only does this protect communities further down the river from flooding, but it has other benefits too. It helps to enhance habitat diversity for river insects and animals, trap pollutants, and enhance the supply of sediment to the floodplain.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Additional Information: This specialist publication articles which was written in relation to
Publisher: The Conversation Trust
Funders: Environment Agency, Shropshire Council, EPSRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 12 September 2023
Date of Acceptance: 4 August 2023
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2023 00:13

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