How does flooding affect humans and the environment?

Impact of flooding on humans

Flooding has a range of impacts on humans, including:

  • people can be injured or killed by flooding
  • floodwater is often contaminated with sewage, which can lead to illness and affect clean drinking water
  • power supplies can be disrupted
  • businesses can be forced to shut down
  • services such as hospitals and schools can close
  • transport networks can be affected, such as flood damage to bridges, railways and roads
  • homes and properties can be flooded
  • people may have to move out of their properties until flood damage is repaired
  • possesions can be damaged and washed away

Impact of flooding on the environment

Flooding has a range of impacts on the environment, including:

  • wildlife habitats can be destroyed by floodwater
  • contaminated floodwater can pollute rivers and habitats
  • silt and sediment can destroy crops on farms
  • river banks and natural levées can be eliminated as rivers reach bankfull capacity
  • rivers can be widened, and deposition can increase downstream
  • trees can be uprooted by high-velocity water flow
  • plants that survive the initial flood may die due to being inundated with water
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