There are many disruptive effects of flooding on human settlements and economic activities. However, floods (in particular the more frequent/smaller floods) can also bring many benefits, such as recharging ground water, making soil more fertile and providing nutrients in which it is deficient. Flood waters provide much needed water resources in particular in arid and semi-arid regions where precipitation events can be very unevenly distributed throughout the year. Freshwater floods, particularly play an important role in maintaining ecosystems in river corridors and are a key factor in maintaining floodplain biodiversity. Flooding adds a lot of nutrients to lakes and rivers which leads to improved fisheries for a few years, also because of the suitability of a floodplain for spawning (little predation and a lot of nutrients). Fish like the weather fish make use of floods to reach new habitats. Together with fish also birds profit from the boost in production caused by flooding.
Periodic flooding was essential to the well-being of ancient communities along the Tigris-Euphrates Rivers, the Nile River, the Indus River, the Ganges and the Yellow River, among others. The viability for hydrological based renewable sources of energy is higher in flood prone regions.
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