WeatherTalk: Increased flooding has many causes
As flooding has increased in recent years, the impacts of these mitigation efforts can be seen all over.
FARGO — When water is displaced from a location, it has to go somewhere else. When water is caused to move faster or slower, this causes water levels to increase below where it's moving faster and above where it's moving slower. This means that all flood mitigation; including draining water from agricultural fields, straightening sloughs, deepening ditches, building levees, and building diversions all move water from one location to another. In times of flood, this benefits some and harms others.
As flooding has increased across our region in recent years, the unfortunate impacts of these mitigation efforts can be seen all over. However, many people shortsightedly blame the structure nearest them as the cause of all their water problems when, in fact, a holistic overview would make more sense. It is also critical to the discussion that average annual precipitation around eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota has increased around 20% since before the early 1990s.