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Taming the Flood

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’Although asked to review by a nursing journal this is of interest to a great many people living in flood threatened areas’

Title: Taming the Flood

Author: Jeremy Purseglove

Publisher: William Collins

Reviewer: Jane Brown, Quality Governance Manager Worcester Acute NHS Trust


What was it like?

This is such a poignant book; I lived through July 2007 Tewkesbury floods. Christmas 2015 watched as the north of England was deluged in rain. The argument rage is it the council’s fault for not dredging ditches or providing enough flood defences and so the arguments continue with the government pledging to through more money at nature. The author has written intelligently around the subject of rivers, wetlands and the continual battle against floods.

What were the highlights?

The author knows his subject well and the attention to detail is there, the reader may have seen flooding in the media or at first hand and we appear to keep asking the same questions. Are we ignoring nature by building on flood plains? Or to dredge or not to dredge. For the reader can history give us the answers and why do we get month’s rain at one time and what about climate change and what the reader can do? Tewkesbury was mentioned and as the pumping station went down the other problem was the electricity station, which if had gone down too would have been the biggest evacuation since World War 2.

The book gives definitions of rivers and interesting geography and farming. The author has included excellent line drawings and photographs.

This book was originally written in 1988 and has been updated. I suspect this will be updated again in the near future as flooding has become unprecedented.

Strengths & weaknesses?

The author has written this book in a reader friendly way, what could be a difficult and heavy subject is made real and explained well. the floods may never be tamed as nature is so unpredictable – it is how we live with this and try to prevent such devastation as we have seen recently in Cumbria and York and last year the Somerset Levels.

There were no weaknesses evident.

Who should read it?

Although asked to review by a nursing journal this is of interest to a great many people living in flood threatened areas or for those who may never be directly affected an insight into this fascinating subject.

taming the flood

taming the flood



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