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Aberystwyth scientists develop 'super grass' that could help limit flooding

Scientists in Aberystwyth helping to develop a so-called 'super grass' that could be used to prevent flooding.

Its extra-long roots make the soil more absorbent, which means more rain could be soaked up on higher ground.

Kevin Ashford reports.

The grass was originally looked at for its ability to survive drought conditions. Now it's the plant's potential for making ground more absorbent - especially on higher ground - that is causing most excitement and offering hope to communities all the world who are blighted by floods.

The grass has extra long roots

Normally the soil would become very rapidly saturated, making the rainfall run off along the surface, carrying not just water but nutrients as well.

We found the rain was going downwards and the rain was being held more effectively... which we believe has a major effect in terms of flood mitigation

– Dr Mike Humphreys, Aberystwyth University
The grass was originally looked at for its ability to survive drought conditions