University of Illinois Extension

River Management: The Good, Bad & Ugly

levee breakFor all the good things about levees and dams, there are downsides. When you confine flood water using a levee, the increased height of the water makes it move faster. This causes more erosion along the bottom and sides of the channel.

When the water slows down, all the silt and rocks get deposited downstream. And even worse yet, sometimes levees fail, allowing flood water to escape and cause great damage.