6. Can the causes of the floods be influenced by human behaviour?

As a natural phenomenon, floods cannot be avoided. Causes of floods are complex, and insensitive human activity is an important factor alongside natural ones, such as heavy rain, melting snow, etc.

   The causes of floods include human activities, e.g.:

  • reductions in the soil’s natural ability to retain water caused by land uses such as logging which increases the speed of the natural flow (see Fig. 6);
  • corrections in river beds;
  • building in areas at risk of ground failure floods;
  • climate change mainly caused by human activity, which plays a part in increasing the probability of flooding and the resulting negative consequences.

  Human activity is a reason for flooding in many cases. Changes in terrain and river beds, inadequate maintenance of hydraulic installations and failure to clean up river beds all increase the probability of flooding.

Fig.6. Qualso village (Udine, Northern Italy). Urban flood occured on 18th june 2020, following heavy rainfalls, due to the reductions in the soil’s natural ability to retain water (From a video of C. De Pelseneer)