Does urban growth add to flooding?

If only I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard a farmer or rancher complain that urban growth contributes to flooding. They say that new streets, parking lots and golf courses accelerate runoff into streams and rivers, worsening flooding.

I’m not a scientist or water management expert. I’m not qualified to judge if farmers’ claims are accurate.

But a U.S. Geological Survey fact sheet on the subject is interesting. Among its conclusions: “Urbanization generally increases the size and frequency of floods and may expose communities to increasing flood hazards.”

Here’s the link:

One thought on “Does urban growth add to flooding?

  1. Of course the growth of communities does add to flood concerns, but these very farmers don’t want to address the fact that their actions contribute more so. Most communities have to construct at least some sort of retention ponds when they expand to collect some of the runoff before it enters streams and rivers. As the previous poster wrote, the drainage of farm land has a much broader reach and ag friendly states don’t want to upset anybody by speaking the truth of what problems have been caused by tile drainage already and how much worse it will become as more and more plastic is put in the ground.

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