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River management

Page history last edited by catrin treanor 4 years, 5 months ago


1. Flood Control

your spec says:

There is discussion about the costs and benefits of hard and soft engineering and debate about which is the better option... 

A hard management strategy is one that makes use of traditional engineering techniques that usually interfere with the natural flow of the river and its basin.  They tend to be expensive, short-term options.


A soft management strategy is one that works in harmony with the river and its natural processes.

It is considered to be more sustainable in that any changes that are made work to benefit the river system and its ecosystems as well as benefiting local communities.  So that change to the river system is not detrimental in any way. A long-term solution that is often less expensive. 


It is in the news watch and read this report from the BBC and ideas of sustainable flood control   TREE planting is in the news too!



  .A superb example of hard engineeringThe Mississippi - River management - watch this!  Find out the purpose of  wing dykes, artificial levees, control dams, straightening and revetments (mattresses of concrete slabs) - but what happened in 1993? UPDATE:  2011 Floods


TASK  See page 92 in your text book  and this link

Then complete these tasks


extension: The Three Gorges Dam - you might like to investigate the advantages and disadvantages of this project!  Useful BBC news links and newsreport

The Three Gorges Dam



TASK A GIS mission - use your GIS skills to help you decision making...  before you begin download the instructions - word document in this folder!

Once you have completed this mission you should be able to argue the case for hard or soft engineering (go to Bitesize:Hard and Soft Engineering)- which is the better option and why? You should also be able to explain why different interest groups (stakeholders) have different viewpoints.


2. Water Supply

your spec says...

Rivers are managed to provide a water supply. There are a variety of issues resulting from this...


TASK: Read page 94  then complete the tasks on this document - and refer to London's attempts to manage water


TASK:  How can we be more sustainable in our approach to water supply?  Create your own top tips handout that could be distributed to PF staff and students!  (watch Kate Humble!) Drop20?


TASK: What are the issues resulting from dam and reservoir construction in the UK?


a. Find out where Rutland Water is  and where it transfers water to, (Rutland Water's website)


Rutland Water was built in the 1970's to supply water to the growing populations and industry in the East Midlands, damming the lower reaches of the rivers Nene and Welland in the Gwash Valley. The dam is 35m high, 810m wide and 1.2km long. The site was chosen because of a local supply of clay to build the dam and because of its proximity to major urban and industrial areas in drier parts of the UK. 

Rutland Water lies near Oakham in the county of Rutland and is the largest man-made lake in Western Europe.  It provides a reserve supply of water in the driest and most densely populated quarter of the UK. 

Up to 270 million litres per day are continuously pumped from the reservoir, treated to a very high standard and then pumped again through the thousands of Km of pipes which distribute it to 500,000 people in 5 counties. 


b. then sort out the advantages and disadvantages of Rutland Water (if you can aim to classify further: environmental/economic/social)





extension... It isn't just the UK that has to consider its water supply... look at this! Water transfer projects - another grand project in China - solving the crisis that Shanghai faces?

water conflicts?

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