Rivers are anintegral 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 formedtheir livelihoods around rivers for transport, food, water to drink, use forcleaning and washing and more. A drainage basin can also be called a catchmentarea, which is the area of land drained by a river and its tributaries. In thisessay, I will discuss river drainage basin features and how they affect thesurrounding catchment areas, thus the response via catchment management, and Iwill use the River Severn and Humber River drainage basins to help highlight mypoints. River Drainage Basins do not just embody rivers but; canals, surfacewater transfers, lakes, coastal water bodies, estuaries, and groundwaterbodies; which can be natural, artificial or heavily modified.
For example, theRiver Severn district has a total of 797 water bodies; 681 of these beingriver, canals and surface water transfers, 68 lakes, 6 estuaries, and 42 groundwaterbodies. The Humber River Basin District has a total of 1038 water bodies; 844river, canals and surface water transfers, 134 lakes, 2 coastal water bodies, 7estuaries, and 51 groundwater bodies. Physicalfeatures of a river drainage basin include rock and soil type, level ofurbanisation, vegetation amount, deforestation and afforestation, altitude,slope steepness, weather and climate, rainfall. The more urban an area, theless likely you are to find lots of vegetation, there will also be an increasein impermeable surfaces such as roads and footpaths made of tarmac, rather thanrocks and soils that are able to absorb water, all of this means surface run offis much more likely and at a faster speed due to reduced percolation and noother way for the water to move. This means that flooding is much more likelyin 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 RiverManagement which is divided into hard and soft engineering options. Hardengineering includes dam construction and river engineering, soft engineeringoptions include afforestation, managed flooding and planning.Humber River:west midlands in the south, northwards to north Yorkshire and from Staffordshirein the west to part of Lincolnshire and the Humber estuary in the east. Urban centresBirmingham, Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield, hull, Grimsby. Many interconnectedrivers, lakes, groundwater and coastal waters. Catchments range from theuplands of the Peak District to fertile river valleys of the Trent to chalkaquifers of the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Wolds and vary from rural catchmentsto heavily urbanised and industrial areas. Management Catchments (Humber River Drainage Basin) Name Aire and Calder Derwent Derbyshire Derwent Humber Don and Rother Dove Esk and Coast Hull and East Riding Humber AWB Humber GW Humber TraC Idle and Torne Louth Grimsby and Ancholme Soar 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 midlandsand south to Severn estuary. Predominantly rural but urban=Bristol, Coventry, Cardiffand south wales valleys and parts of west midlands conurbation.
Management catchmentsrange from energetic upland streams to sower rivers in lowlands, inc sandstoneand limestone aquifers for public water supply in midlands. 80% district foragriculture and forestry which shapes landscape inc beef and sheep farming,large scale dairy farms, coniferous forestry plantations and some arable andspecialist horticulture. Management Catchments (River Severn Drainage Basin) Name Avon Bristol and Somerset North Streams 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 Teme Usk Usk AWB Usk GW Usk TraC Wye MC Wye MC GW Wye MC TraC