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October 9, 2009

How Do Trees Prevent Floods?

I'm always mentioning the benefits of trees to the environment on my previous articles. Due to the most recent massive flooding caused by typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana), I think there is nothing wrong if I will reiterate again the importance of trees. And this time I will focus more on how trees prevent floods.

Experts have shown that a single 10 inch tree can store more than 60,000 gallons of water during a single rainfall. Single tree can save flooding by more than 250,000 liters of water. Imagine if we only have lot of trees planted along the river bank, we will not have a flooding of almost 6 feet high and more lives will be saved.

If you will notice almost all the land in Metro Manila are already concreted, this prevent water from seeping in the ground, and the run off instead of being converted to safe drinking water, gets polluted, floods areas, and causes diseases especially amongst children. Trees catch water and store it for future purposes. This is the normal water cycle that has been disrupted by not leaving enough green open areas, and cutting down decades old trees in the country. Projects have to be made keeping in view that green areas have to be left for natural replenishment of ground water, which is the natural store for fresh and safe drinking water.

Beside from flooding, other danger during rainy season is mud slides. Trees prevent mud slides because their roots help hold the soil together. Planting trees in the uplands that drain into rivers could slow down the transfer of water into rivers and thus reduce flood risk. More trees in the upland have a far greater sponge like capacity to absorb water and then release it more slowly.

I am not wishing for more calamities to happen but until each and every one of us hasn’t realized the importance of trees in our lives, expect more of this kind of calamity to occur, or much worse.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Are you sure that a little 10 inch tree can store more than 60,000 GALLONS of water?
It just doesnt make sense to me.

Anonymous said...

The pic at the top kinda sucks.... no offence. But the info helped.