Water is often times considered to be the most powerful force on the planet. Which means, under the right circumstances, it can also be the most destructive. All you have to do is watch footage from the tsunami that occurred in Japan in 2011 to understand just how devastating a force it can be. And when the water begins rising, be it from an ocean, lake, or river, it can seem like there is no stopping it from its relentless march forward. Jorge Cueto, a Ph.D.