Historically, people have been attracted to water for industry, commerce, living, and recreation. During early settlement and development in the US, locations near water were a necessity for transportation, waterpower, water supply, and contained fertile soils for agricultural use. This pattern of development continued as communities grew to their present form.
When the natural process is unaltered by human activity, flooding is not a problem. In fact, species of plants and animals that live near water are adapted to periodic flooding. Flooding is only considered a problem when human development is located in flood-prone areas. Problems can result which expose people to dangerous situations and property damage. Flooding can also disrupt the natural functions of floodplains and redirecting surface flows onto lands that are not normally subject to flooding.
Communities do not have to endure the dangers and damages that have resulted from unwise use of floodplains. These are done through guiding and regulating development activities in flood-prone areas and these sets of action are known as Floodplain Management.