People have developed many methods of controlling floods and using the water to their benefit.
Reservoirs are built to hold excessive rain, and the water is used for agriculture and personal use. Channels to redirect floodwaters only work if they guide the water to its natural destination. Otherwise, they force the water to run deeper and more quickly, causing more erosion and damage.
Government regulations have attempted to control floods, legislating the use of flood-plains, demanding reservoir, dam, and dike construction and repair, and keeping residents informed of rising waters.
Although not perfect, dikes and dams have proven to be the simplest and most effective devices of flood control. Walls of soil, rock, metals, brick, or even sandbags hold back floodwaters from populated areas.
The Netherlands has created an extensive dike system, critical to managing the flow of water through a country that is at or below sea level.