Sea level rise is one of the major effects of climate change. The fast increase of sea levels and the problems it will cause are becoming more prominent as the years go by. AlreadyThere are now several cities in the United States that are implementing different approacheskinds of techniques and solutions in order to slow down the impact of sea level rise. These include: Solutions like building seawalls, constructing beaches as barriers, raising roads, upgrading sewage systems, slowing land sinkage and planningmanaged retreats.
Building Seawalls attempt are done to decrease flooding from tides and storms. Built, they are five to six-feet-high above sea level, they and cost about $600 to $2000 per linear foot. Problems arise when walls age and become damaged from the sea waves. Also, the walls would need to be consistently built higher as the sea levels increase. According to First Street Foundation, New York City is currently building a flood protection system for in Manhattan, it is estimated to cost around $335 million.
Another solution is using constructing beaches as barriers. The construction of beaches and sand dunes is like building seawalls as its main function would be to prevent water reaching the land. The bigger the beaches and sand dunes the more water can be blocked. Not only that, but the construction of beaches will also benefit communities by providing enjoyment and it will engage everyone to become proactive in mitigating sea level rise.
Next, in some cities they are raising roads. The higher roads will help avoid and drain more water and reduce tidal flooding. Unfortunately, that will cause flooding into the places at lower elevations. Thus these cities, as a solution, plan to utilize stormwater pumps to prevent flooding at lower elevations. According to First Street Foundation, Miami Beach is currently raising roads by two feet. It is said to cost about $2 million per block and will takes about 2 years to complete.
Upgrading sewage systems can also be done. Sewage systems are often damaged by floods, and can sometimes causes health hazards if as septic tanks break down. It costs about $50 to $250 per linear foot to construct new sewer lines and ensure that storm water does not seep into the old damaged pipes and tanks. The time it takes to upgrade of such systems is about 3 years.
Slowing land sinkage is also one of the ways to mitigate sea level rise . Some lands are now sinking because too much water has been pumped out of under the ground aquifers, which causes the land elevation to sink and become even lower. As a solution to this problem, communities are now limiting groundwater pumping, and have started projects which will inject vast amounts of purified wastewater into the ground. A project like this takes about 5-10 years to complete and is hugely expensive.
Sadly, even with many solutions available, some communities are forced to relocate as they’re faced with the great risk of flooding and sea level rise. It is too late now for some areas to only start to combat and mitigate sea level rise. The best option is to relocate and ensure safety. Furthermore, solutions not only take a long time to implement but they also may cost more money than a city can afford, and may require new and different kinds of laws to be passed.
All in all, it is important for all of us to be proactive. Sea level rise is only one of the major effects of climate change. There are many more – like the increase of hotter days, warmer ocean temperature, and extreme weather events, to name just a few. All must be mitigated before it is too late.
Foundation, First Street. “Solving for Sea Level Rise.” Medium, FirstStreet, 24 Nov. 2018, medium.com/firststreet/solving-for-sea-level-rise-b95600751525