Antediluvian conscience: authorities do not take measures to prevent floods

Antediluvian conscience: authorities do not take measures to prevent floods
Antediluvian conscience: authorities do not take measures to prevent floods
6 August 2021, 14:45Incidents
Despite the sad experience, in Russia, none of the basic conditions for preventing the destructive consequences of floods is still being fulfilled.

Sergey Baimukhametov

Summer 2021 is stormy. In the truest sense. After the avalanche rains, the rivers overflow their banks. In Germany, the mountainous regions of the Rhine were flooded, thousands of houses were destroyed, at least 179 people died. Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, Belgium, Holland, Italy, France suffered ...

In Russia, as a result of downpours, settlements were flooded, houses, roads, bridges in the Krasnodar Territory, in the Crimea, in the Rostov Region, and in the Trans-Baikal Territory were destroyed. There are victims.

Disputes are mainly focused only on "high issues": is it climate change, a consequence of global warming - or periodic natural disasters?

Further, the discussion descends several levels - to the shortcomings of weather forecasting, early warning systems, to the fact that urban expansion, buildings in river valleys compact the soil, river beds are littered, and so on.

And at the same time, almost nothing is said about a cardinal solution to the issue, about a guarantee of security for the future.

19 years ago, in June 2002, during heavy rains, the Kuban, Laba, Belaya, Urup and other rivers of southern Russia overflowed the banks of the river. 246 settlements were affected, more than 110 kilometers of the gas pipeline, 269 bridges, 1490 kilometers of highways were destroyed. 102 people died.

Two months later, in August 2002, torrential rains and the breakthrough of dams on reservoirs in the Krasnodar Territory flooded 7,000 residential buildings and office buildings, damaged 4,968 and destroyed 447 residential buildings. 20 bridges, 5.5 kilometers of highways, 5 water intakes were damaged. In the Crimean region of the Krasnodar Territory, two settlements were completely washed away - Verkhny Adagum and Nizhnebakansky. 62 people were killed.

In the State Duma, in the Ministry of Emergencies, at all meetings it was said that the necessary measures were not taken to prepare for a natural disaster: the storm sewers, river channels were not cleared, hydraulic structures were not maintained in proper condition .... None of the basic conditions for preventing the destructive consequences of floods and floods in Russia is being fulfilled ... One of the reasons for the catastrophic consequences of floods is massive squatter construction in floodplains. There are bridges, fish-breeding ponds, and self-contained water intakes for household needs. After each such construction, the bottom of the river is littered with the remnants of production activities. Each such object is a retaining dam that prevents rapid and full flow. The channels become shallow, silted up, rivers instantly overflow their banks during heavy rains.

Everything is correct. But even the elimination of the listed violations is a palliative, not a final solution to the issue.

Ten years later, in 2012, in the same areas, everything repeated itself. Heavy rains in July caused, in particular, a catastrophic flood on the Adagum River, severely destroying the city of Krymsk. According to official figures, 171 people died.

Then, in 2012, based on information obtained in the course of many years of communication with hydraulic engineers, hydrologists, the author of these lines wrote:

“The world has experience in the construction of so-called dry reservoirs. Without water. Only in order to pick up the flood one-time, to intercept the storm runoff - to guarantee the safety of the population ... It is obvious that in the mountainous, densely populated regions of the South of Russia it is necessary to build special anti-flood, "dry" reservoirs. But to talk about it in the current conditions means to be branded as a projector, an idealist, demanding a pie in the sky. "

At that time and for several years to come, this was the only mention of "dry" reservoirs in the information space of the Russian Federation.

Why, then, did I call their construction in our country "projection"? Because I proceeded from the assessment of reality. Imagine: a reservoir bed is selected according to the terrain, a dam, a drainage canal are erected - and all this gigantic structure is "just like that"? "Just in case"? And what, the state will go to such absolutely "stranded" costs?

Rivers - drainage of adjacent territories. Rainwater and melt water, runoff from huge spaces somehow end up in rivers.

All our reservoirs are complex. And for irrigation, and for the supply of settlements, and for the needs of industry. They perform the flood control function once a year - in the spring. During the winter, the accumulated stock is consumed (“fired” - in professional terminology), and in the spring flood they are replenished. And so they hold on until winter. According to the rules, on the eve of rains, they must dump part of the total volume in order to intercept dangerous storm drains, but this is according to the rules ... What if the meteorologists are mistaken ... and what to say when water is needed ... with what we will enter the winter ... the pocket does not pull ... But the reservoirs, which are constantly filled to 100 percent, are an additional source of danger during heavy rains. Emergency discharges can lead to disaster. Perhaps they have already. There were and are such suspicions. In any case, in 2012, the initiative group of residents of the destroyed and flooded Krymsk was refused permission to inspect two Atakay reservoirs. They are the property of the largest cement producer in Russia - the Novoroscement company.

What kind of "dry" reservoirs are there ...

And only in 2018, after another flood in the Krasnodar Territory, when about 30 settlements were flooded, in the regional (! - S.B.) edition of the federal newspaper there was an article by the doctor of technical sciences, hydraulic engineer Viktor Shakhin:

“The method of dealing with flash floods, proposed by specialists from the St. Petersburg State University of Water Communications, is the construction of“ dry ”reservoirs-traps ... to the heads of all regions of southern Russia with a proposal for protection from catastrophic flash floods with the help of trap reservoirs. In response, they received either silence or replies: "We consider it impossible to recommend this method for practical application."

Nowadays, in July 2021, after new floods, the director of the Hydrological Institute Vladimir Georgievsky told about the need for "dry" reservoirs:

“There are many of them in China. A dam is being built, but the blocked area is dry. And when there is a powerful flood, such reservoirs intercept water. They are built where there is a danger of flooding, where there are settlements below the river. In China, such dams save people. We have no dry reservoirs ”.

Rivers are a powerful hydropower resource. In terms of its reserves, China ranks first in the world. At the same time, rivers, primarily the mighty Yangtze, Yellow He, Huai He, which have an uneven hydrological regime, have been and are still dangerous for centuries. It is no coincidence that the Yellow River is called the "River of a Thousand Afflictions." China was the first and the most intensive in the world to start building flood protection reservoirs. For example, after the 1998 flood, $ 435 million was spent on comprehensive protection in the Sungari basin alone, a tributary of the Amur, from 1999 to 2013.

According to the international coalition "Rivers without Borders", only in the seven largest basins of China in 2012, the volume of allocated flood protection tanks ("dry" reservoirs - SB) amounted to 108 cubic kilometers.

This is one and a half of the Krasnoyarsk seas. Apart from other pools, not the largest.

However, China did not escape the 2021 Flood. Due to heavy rains, it overflowed the banks of the Yellow River and flooded the flat province of Henan. About a hundred people died.

The Chinese authorities said they will take new, additional measures to prevent devastating floods.

In Russia, in the Krasnodar Territory alone, from 2002 to 2021, there were seven major floods as a result of heavy rains. Hundreds of people died. Thousands were left homeless.

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