The river is famous for its floods. The flood which occurred on 14 October 1957, known as the Great Flood of Valencia, flooded large part of the city of Valencia, and produced a great deal of damage to both life and property. To prevent this from happening in the future, a diversion project was devised (Plan Sur de Valencia), completed in 1969, and the river was divided in two at the western city limits. During floods, most of the water is diverted southwards along a new course that skirts the city, until it meets the Mediterranean. The old course of the river has been turned into a central
green-space for the city, a cultural attraction known as the garden of the Turia.
Not unlike the LA River man-made diversion channel south of the city is often found dry, since water primarily flows during periods of flooding. Under ordinary flow rates the waters are directed through irrigation channels to help cultivate the fertile plain of Valencia. Throughout history the water of the River Turia has been used to irrigate the region. In modern times, a complex network of irrigation has been created, with the main axis centred on the diversion project. Beyond irrigation, these channels also take runoff and surplus waters from the Turia to the wetlands and marshes around Valencia.