Winter floods always bring a rush of concern about the amount of water being "wasted" as it rushes out to the ocean. A serious problem with urban landscapes, particularly those on coastlines or near deltas, is that rainwater washes straight into storm drain systems and out to sea, rather than being soaked up by the soil and replenishing the groundwater system. The concrete buildings and asphalt roads do little to help return water to the earth -- but that doesn't mean all winter flooding is bad, or that water is wasted during storms. Jeffrey Mount, UC Davis Professor of Geology, argues that this water is in fact not wasted in a post titled Water To The Sea Isn't Wasted on the California WaterBlog.
"The notion of water "wasted" during a flood is outdated and wrong. These floods provide broad benefits that are typically under-appreciated and rarely figured into cost and benefit considerations in flood management." Mount brings up some great and interesting points. Check out his article, then come back and tell us your opinion.