Floods affect communities and individuals. They have far-reaching economic, social, and environmental ramifications. Floods tend to have both positive and adverse effects which depend greatly on their location, how much a flood will cost you, the extent of flooding, speed, and depth.
- Social Consequences
The immediate effect of flooding is a loss of both human and animal life, destruction of buildings and property, damage to crops, and spread of waterborne diseases. Economic activities come to a standstill, people are uprooted from their homes, and healthy life is disturbed. Infrastructure such as roads and power plants are damaged which causes many problems such as the disruption in the supply of clean, drinking water and supply of electricity.
Transport comes to a standstill, and communications are badly disrupted. Damages to factories result in loss of livelihood which in turn reduces the purchasing power of consumers. Irrigable land loses its value creating many problems for farmers. Floods also cause high stress emotional among adults and children. People find it very hard to come to terms with the fact of losing their loved ones unexpectedly due to floods. Loss of home and business creates a deep psychological impact on people as a consequence.
- Floods Are The Most Expensive Natural Disaster In Australia
Australia has suffered losses amounting to billions of dollars due to floods. The total damage to government and public infrastructure due to the 2011 floods has been a staggering amount of more than $45 billion.
- Repercussions in the Agricultural Sector
Floods cause a lot of damage to crops and livestock. Farmers not only lose ready crops but are also unable to take harvested crops to the market due to flooded roads. Damage to infrastructures such as roads and bridges also aggravates this problem. Soil becomes waterlogged, and it becomes difficult to harvest crops on it thus, resulting in a shortage of fruits and vegetables.
This deficiency increases the price of food products. But on the bright side floods help the agricultural production by raising the ground level of water. Silt deposits on land due to floods also rejuvenate soil fertility, increasing the maximum production from the area.
- Economic Consequences
Floods have a significant effect on national and regional economic activities. Damage to infrastructures such as ports, railway tracks, and roads disrupts the economic balance. The Tourism industry suffers as vacationers will avoid places that are flooded. People lose their homes and businesses to floods. Flood insurance can minimize their losses, but the emotional attachment of people to their homes and businesses leaves an enormous psychological impact on individuals for a long time.
Significant Consequences of Floods on the Environment
Although floods wreak destruction in their paths, they also play a vital role in maintaining the ecosystem’s balance, and biodiversity of the region. Floods help join the river to its surrounding land, fill wetlands, replenish groundwater systems, joins different aquatic habitats, and moves nutrients and sediments around the landscape. Floods are also responsible for migration, breeding events, and dispersal among some species. Fish production increases, helping the economy.
Unfortunately, the effect of floods is felt more profusely in places which have already been degraded by humanity.