Using flood-excess volume to show that upscaling beaver dams for protection against extreme floods proves unrealistic

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed.

Downloads

Download Preprint

Supplementary Files
Authors

Onno Bokhove , Mark Kelmanson, Tom Kent

Abstract

The questions we address in the present article are the following:
(i) whether (extreme) river floods can be prevented or seriously mitigated by the introduction of beavers in the wild, and (ii) for which river catchments does flood mitigation by beaver activity (not) work?
By using the concept of flood-excess volume (FEV) for four rivers in the UK, in the context of five (extreme) UK flood events in the last two decades, we show that even a 10% flood reduction of the FEV, using beaver colonies and beaver dams, requires hundreds of such colonies per river catchment. Given the high number of beaver colonies and dams required for mitigation, we conclude/demonstrate that serious flood mitigation by massive introduction of beaver colonies is completely unrealistic, in stark contrast to statements made in scientific literature and in the media. Furthermore, FEV is valuable beyond its utility as a tool in analysing the efficacy of beaver dams as flood protection: it is demonstrated to be a useful tool for assessing in an easy-to-understand way a variety of flood-mitigation measures, including analysing the scalability of local flood-mitigation measures for overall catchment needs.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31223/osf.io/w9evx

Subjects

Applied Mathematics, Earth Sciences, Hydrology, Other Applied Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Mathematics

Keywords

flood mitigation, upscaling, beaver dams, flood-excess volume, floodwater storage

Dates

Published: 2018-07-10 10:55

Older Versions
License

GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) 2.1

Add a Comment

You must log in to post a comment.


Comments

There are no comments or no comments have been made public for this article.