Environmental Chemistry

Floods – Definition and Different Causes of Floods

Flood is a term used to denote an enormous amount of water. When there is an outflow of water in a place, it is said to be flooded.  The situation caused when the water becomes uncontrollable is said to be flooded.  The flood may take different forms such as in the form of heavy rainfall when there is a breaking of the dam. Furthermore, the melting of snow also leads to flooding. Floods lead to an overfull and huge spread of water but are not considered safe for the purpose of drinking. Thus floods bring with them a number of diseases such as typhoid, cholera and many others. Here, we shall discuss the various causes of floods.


Causes of Floods

Flood is usually a result of natural causes. It may also be caused by man-made factors. It causes huge damage to life and property. There are many different causes leading to flooding. Some prominent among them include:

Massive Rainfall

Drainage systems and the effective infrastructure design aid during heavy rains. They help the drainage of excess water into reservoirs in an easy way. But in cases of heavy rainfall, the systems stop working. Thus flood is caused.

Overflowing of the Rivers

The people living along the river always have a risk of life from the overflowing of the Rivers. To prevent such a situation, a string of dams are built. However, if these dams are not managed properly, they may cause flooding and huge damage.

Collapsed Dams

In the event of huge rainfall, the dams built begin to collapse. Thus, causing the flood situation to become even critical for the people living around.

Download Floods and Causes of Floods Cheat Sheet PDF


At the time of the high melting of snow due to heavy precipitation and other factors, the situation of flooding arises. Adopting sustainable measures for heavy precipitation can help in dealing with the flooding situation.


The cutting of trees in a reckless manner i.e. deforestation is also a major cause of man-made flooding. Trees prevent soil erosion and also the loss of crops. The vegetation is also enriched as a result of more and more trees. This also blocks the massive flow of rain, thus preventing flooding.

Climate change

The climatic changes caused due to human practices also add to the risk of flooding. Human beings cut trees in a large number, thus affecting the process of photosynthesis. Thus increased level of carbon-di-oxide in the atmosphere cause changes in climate posing threats of natural disasters like floods etc.

Emission of Greenhouse Gases

The burning of fossil fuels, the industrial influences, the pollution all is depleting the level of the ozone layer and increasing the level of greenhouse gases, becoming a major cause of man-made flooding.

Other Factors

The broken supply lines cause the outflow of water but lead to less damage. Also, there is water flow from the washing machines. Furthermore, overflow from dishwashers worsens the situation. Also, the lack of proper sewage systems adds to the destruction of this natural disaster.

Thus, a flood can be caused both due to natural causes as well as it can be a human-made flood.

Flood causes a huge loss of life and property. Waterborne diseases spread as a result of Floods causing health problems. Moreover, the destruction of roadways and infrastructure facilities, the disturbance of ecosystems, improper sewage systems all demand serious efforts of adopting sustainable measures.

Taking steps such as afforestation, decreased the emission of harmful gases into the atmosphere could help. Also, enrichment of vegetation, fewer deeds causing pollution and treatment of sewage could be useful ways to combat the situation.

Solved Question for You

Q. Risk of flooding can be reduced by:

  1. The building of dams, detention basins
  2. Educational and awareness programs related to floods.
  3. Building regulations for new developments.
  4. All of the above

Correct Answer: Correct Answer is 4.

The risk of flooding can be reduced by taking all the necessary actions stated above.

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