Drainage is the act of removing water from an area. It is used in farming, in households and in areas that can potentially flood as a result of rainfall. There are many different methods of drainage, each suited to a different purpose.
The earliest methods of advanced drainage systems that have been found date back to earlier than 3000BC. They were often more efficient than many drainage systems found in developing nations around the world today. They drained excess water from streets and homes, and fed the water into drains that linked with sewerage systems. For the time, this was a hugely advanced system and paved the way for the development of contemporary methods of drainage.
Drainage plays a huge role in farming, from many years ago to today. Deep drains are dug in fields to allow water to collect and prevent crops from drowning. They are important in many countries, ranging from those that receive moderate amounts of regular rainfall to dry countries that occasionally see torrential downpours. These countries may not be perceived as requiring drainage systems; in fact most money and efforts will go towards efficient irrigation systems to ensure the crops receive a well-distributed amount of water. But a single heavy storm has the potential to destroy an entire harvest, and this can be devastating to the local population. In these conditions crops are certain to suffer without an efficient method of drainage.
In countries such as the United Kingdom, the drainage systems work alongside irrigation systems to regulate the amount of water supplied to land. Many farms rely solely upon rainfall, and in many countries this is consistent and there is little requirement for any irrigation or drainage. But in countries that cannot depend on regular rainfall, irrigation systems are installed to ensure plants receive a sufficient amount of water. A single rainfall can cause an imbalance, and this is when a well-constructed drainage system comes into play and can radically improve farming conditions and counteract the effects of the weather conditions.
Houses and urban environments are fitted with a variety of different drainage systems, all aiming to reduce the risk of flooding in the event of heavy rainfall. They work effectively in many countries, though some cannot cope as well as others. Many hotter countries have drainage systems in place that aren’t required often, and sometimes cannot stand up to the torrential rainstorms that can occur.