Rivers for cleaning and washing and more. A drainage

Rivers are an
integral part of our planet, connecting the water that is in a constant closed-cycle,
from our atmosphere to the oceans – the hydrological cycle. Humans have formed
their livelihoods around rivers for transport, food, water to drink, use for
cleaning and washing and more. A drainage basin can also be called a catchment
area, which is the area of land drained by a river and its tributaries. In this
essay, I will discuss river drainage basin features and how they affect the
surrounding catchment areas, thus the response via catchment management, and I
will use the River Severn and Humber River drainage basins to help highlight my
points. River Drainage Basins do not just embody rivers but; canals, surface
water transfers, lakes, coastal water bodies, estuaries, and groundwater
bodies; which can be natural, artificial or heavily modified. For example, the
River Severn district has a total of 797 water bodies; 681 of these being
river, canals and surface water transfers, 68 lakes, 6 estuaries, and 42 groundwater
bodies. The Humber River Basin District has a total of 1038 water bodies; 844
river, canals and surface water transfers, 134 lakes, 2 coastal water bodies, 7
estuaries, and 51 groundwater bodies.


features of a river drainage basin include rock and soil type, level of
urbanisation, vegetation amount, deforestation and afforestation, altitude,
slope steepness, weather and climate, rainfall. The more urban an area, the
less likely you are to find lots of vegetation, there will also be an increase
in impermeable surfaces such as roads and footpaths made of tarmac, rather than
rocks and soils that are able to absorb water, all of this means surface run off
is much more likely and at a faster speed due to reduced percolation and no
other way for the water to move. This means that flooding is much more likely
in urban areas than rural, especially if building work has happened on floodplains,
where water is likely to spread to when river banks burst and discharge water.
Steps can be taken to increase lag time, thus reduce flooding, called River
Management which is divided into hard and soft engineering options. Hard
engineering includes dam construction and river engineering, soft engineering
options include afforestation, managed flooding and planning.

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Humber River:
west midlands in the south, northwards to north Yorkshire and from Staffordshire
in the west to part of Lincolnshire and the Humber estuary in the east. Urban centres
Birmingham, Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield, hull, Grimsby. Many interconnected
rivers, lakes, groundwater and coastal waters. Catchments range from the
uplands of the Peak District to fertile river valleys of the Trent to chalk
aquifers of the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Wolds and vary from rural catchments
to heavily urbanised and industrial areas.


Management Catchments (Humber River Drainage Basin)


Aire and Calder

Derwent Derbyshire

Derwent Humber

Don and Rother


Esk and Coast

Hull and East Riding

Humber AWB

Humber GW

Humber TraC

Idle and Torne

Louth Grimsby and Ancholme


Swale Ure Nidd and Ouse Upper

Tame Anker and Mease

Trent Lower and Erewash

Trent Valley Staffordshire

Wharfe and Ouse Lower

Severn River:
Welsh uplands, through midlands
and south to Severn estuary. Predominantly rural but urban=Bristol, Coventry, Cardiff
and south wales valleys and parts of west midlands conurbation. Management catchments
range from energetic upland streams to sower rivers in lowlands, inc sandstone
and limestone aquifers for public water supply in midlands. 80% district for
agriculture and forestry which shapes landscape inc beef and sheep farming,
large scale dairy farms, coniferous forestry plantations and some arable and
specialist horticulture.


Management Catchments (River Severn
Drainage Basin)


Avon Bristol and Somerset North

Avon Warwickshire

Severn England AWB

Severn England GW

Severn England TraC

Severn Middle Shropshire

Severn Middle Worcestershire

Severn Uplands

Severn Uplands AWB

Severn Uplands GW

Severn Vale

South East Valleys

South East Valleys AWB

South East Valleys GW




Usk GW

Usk TraC

Wye MC


Wye MC TraC