Sample Geology Critical Thinking on Building in Zones of Known Flooding Acceptable or Not

Building in Zones of Known Flooding Acceptable or Not

1. Explanation of the Problem and why it is a Conflict

Floods are considered a natural hazard since the activity occurs naturally and has a negative impact on humans. Notably, floods can be distinguished into two segments; land-borne and river flooding induced by extreme run-off due to excess rains and storm surges (Nelson, 2014). Consequently, the issue of developing in the flood hazard areas have been a contemporary concern among various stakeholders such as the government, citizens, and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).

Importantly, the floodplains represent a dispute between water and land and water and persons. Conversely, the engagements are significantly complicated and the efforts to attain a common balance amid the rival and irreconcilable users illustrate a distinct decision course, resolutions, and values each party presents (Pardoe, Penning-Rowsell & Tunstall, 2013). The major drivers of the disputes on flood danger zones include overcrowding in various communities leading to conflicts since different individuals have distinct aspirations and land availability is a critical ingredient for attaining some of their objectives.  

2. Description of the Different Parties Involved in the Conflict and their Viewpoints

Stakeholder relations play an important role in managing conflicts in floodplain areas and needs to be effectively incorporated to diminish the chances of disputes and effects of the hazard to humanity. Importantly, some of the parties involved in the battle include the state governments’, civic groups, and the local community that reside next to the floodplain hazard areas.

Government

In numerous circumstances, governments have been in a contestation with other parties as they try to minimize the uncertainties associated with the risk by promoting conservation in these zones. Significantly, most governments try to relocate individuals residing in the danger-prone areas and developing laws to protect the lands, hence, being a source of conflict with the populace as some claim to have ancestral heritage on the regions. Conversely, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) pioneered by the American authority offers government-backed insurance measure to the citizens dwelling in flood-prone areas (Knowles & Kunreuther, 2014).

Civil Groups and NGOs

Notably, these are individual groups and organizations that are involved in championing and involvement of the general public residing in flood-prone areas in the management of the hazard areas (Mees et al., 2016).

Community

These are people that reside next to or in floodplain zones and have always been at the center of conflicts due to their need for meeting specific objectives through utilizing the floodplain settings. 

3. My Viewpoint on the Issue

Based on numerous research studies, floodplains are dangers zones that can cause significant impact to both humanity and the ecosystem such as loss of lives and destruction of property like infrastructure. As such, my stake on the issue is that individuals should not be allowed to reside in these lands especially when there are no effective management policies enacted by the state to minimize risks. Additionally, floodplain areas are fragile ecosystems and occupying the place can result to biodiversity loss due to population pressure and related socio-economic activities.

4. Factual Information Supporting My Viewpoint

Some of the factual information that supports my opinion on why floodplain areas should not be inhabited is drawn from the events that hit Germany on August, 2002. As stipulated by Thieken et al., (2016), a substantial amount of properties were destroyed aggregating to $11.6 billion with over sixteen states counting damages. Subsequently, the phenomena induced havoc on federal infrastructures such as railways, motorways, and administrative houses. Conversely, in 2013, twelve centralized states reported impacts resulting from the floods and a state of emergency being enacted in eight states

5. Viewpoint on the Issue that Differs from My Stake and Principles that Supports It

Numerous studies agitate for encroachment of these flood hazard-prone areas as a form of mitigating overcrowding in some regions. In essence, the American government implemented the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) as a method of protecting its citizens from the dangers pertaining to floods since a majority of its nationals reside in the coastal lines (Knowles & Kunreuther, 2014). Notably, the NFIP was incorporated in the center of a population change from hurricane-vulnerable regions and coastal states.

Significantly, Thieken et al., (2016) promote living in the areas based on the development of various flood protective initiatives such as the construction of retention basins, dams, and embankments to safeguard the zones from being inundated. Importantly, implementation of flood-adapted land utility plan also aids in reducing the substantial impact of floods to the community. For instance, the concept is witnessed on Germany’s implementation of the policy that has helped to reduce the extent of damages caused by the events in the subsequent years (Thieken et al., 2016).     

6. How Different Contexts Influence My Viewpoint

Technological advances have been made to enhance living in the floodplain areas since the innovations help to mitigate the impact of floods on humanity. For instance, inventions in dams, embankments, and dikes have significantly aided in retaining the amount of water at a given point, thus, reducing its spread across the whole zone. Notably, the developments have increased the number of individuals residing in the locations and have subsequently enhanced conflicts among various stakeholders on the validity of the lands. Additionally, cultural beliefs of various people and having an ancestral lineage similarly have influenced the protection of the floodplains since it is difficult to implement relocation initiatives. Moreover, political contentions have also impeded the conservation of floodplains as different politicians have distinct opinions on the issue and some use it as a campaigning tool (Butler et al., 2016). 

7. Implications and Consequences of My Viewpoint on Appropriate Stakeholders

Positive Impacts

Protection of the floodplain lands have a significant impact to both the community and the government at large. In essence, restricting individuals from residing in these zones helps to prevent damages associated with the natural activity such as loss of lives and destruction of materials among the community members. Moreover, safeguarding the areas aids in reducing costs associated with flooding since majority of the states can use the resources in various operations like enhancing the status of healthcare in a country. Importantly, the concept offers policymakers an opportunity to design doctrines that assist in conserving the floodplain environments. 

Negative Impacts

Conversely, deterring individuals from occupying the floodplain hazard locations have significant negative consequences as it enhances conflict among stakeholders. In essence, the idea can lead to an economic loss in a country since most of these areas are ideal for agricultural activities such as rice farming as witnessed in Bangladesh (Rahman, 2014). Additionally, the concept can influence policymakers from establishing laws that help to mitigate flooding like the construction of dams and dikes as the lands will be considered to have no economic value to the country.

8. Role Played By Societal and Personal Responsibility in the Scenario

The legacy of the previous state and federal flood mitigation techniques has a significant impact because the process has enabled increased settlement in the floodplain regions. As such, individuals have the responsibility to help implement the strategies to prevent substantial damages. Additionally, the society has the obligation of being insured based on the implementations of the NFIP to enhance compensation during periods of flood. Further, the insurance policy helps in protecting and increasing flood preparedness among societies that reside in areas considered prone to floods such as the coastal lines (Surminski, 2014). Moreover, the community is encouraged to build on hilly lands to assist in minimizing the injuries on floodplains. 

9. How Personal Freedom and Legitimate Authority affects Decisions to Build on Areas of Hazards

Personal freedom has a significant impact on the decision to construct on floodplain areas because the right allows individuals to choose freely sites that meet their interested objectives. Additionally, the economic freedom allows the community to embark on projects that facilitate economic growth of a country and generate income to the society like farming on the plains. Significantly, personal liberty has been influenced by the notion that it is the responsibility of the state to compensate victims of the floods (Chizewer & Tarlock, 2012). Conversely, the enactment of flood mitigation laws has substantially encouraged settlement on these zones as the policies agitate for development of flood retention techniques like the formation of dams. For instance, the U.S. 1928 Act laid a basis for the building of upstream basins to impede flood effect and encourage human settlement.

References

Butler, C., Walker-Springett, K., Adger, W. N., Evans, L., O’Neill, S., & Adger, N. (2016). Social and political dynamics of flood risk, recovery and response. A report of the findings of the Winter Floods Project. Retrieved from: https://ore.exeter.ac.uk/repository/bitstream/handle/10871/24662/Butler_et_al_2016_Socia_Political_DynamicsFloods%20copy.pdf?sequence=1

Chizewer, D. M., & Tarlock, A. D. (2012). New challenges for urban areas facing flood risks. Fordham Urb. LJ, 40, 1739. Retrieved from: heinonline.org/hol-cgi-bin/get_pdf.cgi?handle=hein.journals/frdurb40&section=59

Knowles, S. G., & Kunreuther, H. C. (2014). Troubled waters: The national flood insurance program in historical perspective. Journal of Policy History, 26(3), 327-353. Retrieved from: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-policy-history/article/troubled-waters-the-national-flood-insurance-program-in-historical-perspective/3F9481EC44EBC8F83AD93A5689E33A14

Mees, H., Crabbé, A., Alexander, M., Kaufmann, M., Bruzzone, S., Lévy, L., & Lewandowski, J. (2016). Coproducing flood risk management through citizen involvement: insights from cross-country comparison in Europe. Ecology and Society, 21(3). Retrieved from: https://www.consecol.org/vol21/iss3/art7/

Nelson, S. A. (2014). Natural disasters & assessing hazards and risk. Research Paper for Tulane University, 20. Retrieved from: http://www.tulane.edu/~sanelson/Natural_Disasters/introduction.htm

Pardoe, J., Penning-Rowsell, E., & Tunstall, S. (2013). Floodplain conflicts: regulation and negotiation. Natural hazards and earth system sciences, 11(10), 2889. Retrieved from: https://search.proquest.com/openview/cefb293fea350eb7f83b3e5683c5e794/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=105722

Rahman, S. U. (2014). Impacts of flood on the lives and livelihoods of people in Bangladesh: A case study of a village in Manikganj district (Doctoral dissertation, BRAC University). Retrieved from: dspace.bracu.ac.bd/bitstream/handle/10361/3802/13168004.pdf?sequence=1

Surminski, S. (2014). The role of insurance in reducing direct risk: the case of flood insurance. International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics, 7(3-4), 241-278. Retrieved from: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/60764/

Thieken, A. H., Kienzler, S., Kreibich, H., Kuhlicke, C., Kunz, M., Mühr, B & Schröter, K. (2016). Review of the flood risk management system in Germany after the major flood in 2013. Ecology and Society, 21(2). Retrieved from: http://www.jstor.org/stable/26270411