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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Global Warming, Climate Changes, Urban Flooding

As leaders were talking about Climate (Paris), Heavy rain took it's toll in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.Chennai - a wonderful lively coastal capital city of Tamil Nadu. Storms plundered and city streets have become very dangerous rivers and it was cut off and become an island. Waters are taking so long to recede from the city. It has become a dangerous area for humans. It is also heavily populated. Day to day life have been severely affected by the climate. Just google Chennai rains you could see the devastation. We used to go to Chennai for watching cricket matches played by India and other visiting International teams at Chepauk Stadium. During such visit in 1983 December for India vs West Indies, the first day of play was abandoned due to heavy rainfall.

Riding horse during Heavy Flooding in Chennai - December, 1983


We experienced the street rivers that had formed due to heavy rains. We were afraid of the opened manholes in the streets.  At that time I was doing my under graduate degree. After that life took me in various paths and ended up in United States as an Environmental Scientist and Information Technologist. Now after 31 years, I see more rain havoc than what we experienced in December of 1983. Even after 31 years still we don't have proper storm water management systems, water drainage systems. I also read about leveling water bodies to build buildings at an alarming rate not considering the environmental damage at all. Anyway past is past. When the rain recedes proper planning should start. Googling about the Chennai's storm water drain etc indicated that there were preparations for such storm and water draining, however it was not fully implemented or they were not prepared for such a storm and rain. Proper storm water runoff systems should be maintained in the future to avoid such disasters. Looks like good people were involved in such studies and they need to take a step ahead and build efficient urban storm water systems to tackle the problems. Even World Bank is working with Tamil Nadu for sustainable urban development projects.



Some more research, methods for efficient storm water systems

Rational Methods

US EPA Report

NASA Guidance

Disaster Guides

Tamilnadu engineers, researchers should get the experience from other disaster studies and create a design and make a plan that would be best for the area. There are always people with such experience willing to help.  There may be sustainable ways, simple cost effective ways to handle this -

SUSTAINABLE DRAINAGE SYSTEMS

Along with this, they should

Protect wetlands and aquatic ecosystems:

Wetlands act like sponges to absorb water during runoff directly into water bodies and slow down flooding. Over the years real estate greed has taken over and environment had been abused. Mangrove forest also have been depleted at alarming rate.

Wonderful Mangroves on both sides near Coot Bay

Thousands of acres such natural environment has been destroyed for building buildings. It is time to stop that. Stop the greed. Restore the wetlands. Restore the mangrove forests. Leave alone ponds, lakes, streams, rivers, river beds and any water body. They are there for a reason. Let us not become the reason for disaster during the storm. Build inland and not in Agricultural Land. Save the remaining forest.

Conserve Maintain, and improve quality of receiving water bodies:

Plant water absorbing layers of fauna in the banks of the water bodies. There are wetland plants native to the place. Get involved with environmental scientists in the local universities and plant as much as wetland plants and create the coastal management.

Improve flood control systems:

Always water bodies needs neighboring fill up ponds. Proper planning is needed to construct such ponds. Build them and don't destroy them. Our ancestors have managed water at the best and in between greed has taken over and destroyed the ancestry  mastery. For the benefit our own brethren and future generation, for God Sake leave out greed and do all the necessary things to save the environment.

Simple things such as stopping the people who throw garbage in ditches and dispose them properly, This small action can help during disasters such as this.

Doing that will help people and storm water management be efficient for the future. Coastal areas are always facing such threats in the future.

See the webpage about CLIMATE from NASA.

Read that opportunistic people are price gouging (jacking up) necessary products such as milk and drinking water. Please don't do that. However,

Many people have come together and helped each other. That's good and promising. Social media such as facebook, whatsap have became a handy tool. Help by doing whatever you can.

Also diseases prevail after floods, create awareness and stop it.
Prevention is better than cure both for the environment and health.

Praying for Chennai and helping them also.

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