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Special Issue "Flood Risk Management"

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A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 November 2011)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Bas Jonkman (Website)

Department of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Delft University and Royal Haskoning, The Netherlands
Guest Editor
Dr. Richard Dawson (Website)

School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU, UK

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Flooding causes enormous damage and loss of life in various parts of the world. It is therefore of importance to continuously develop and improve our knowledge in the field of flood risk management. In recent years more traditional disciplines such as hydraulic modelling have evolved into the wider area of flood risk management.  Moreover, our capacity to understand and manage flood risks has improved thanks to advances in computers, remote sensing technology and better consideration of social issues.  Recent events continue to demonstrate the capacity of floods to cause substantial damage to property, loss of life, harm local economies and disrupt critical infrastructure systems. However, although these events and others share some common features they also highlight the diversity of issues and broader interactions that must be considered as part of a flood risk management strategy.

This special issue of Water is timely in its focus on flooding, but in particular as it seeks to highlight the breadth and complexity of flood risk management.  Interdisciplinary papers are welcomed that highlight new ideas, approaches and innovations in flood risk management, including topics such as:

  • different types of flooding (rivers, coastal, estuarial, urban) and threats (storms, rainfall, tsunami, dam breach);
  • case studies and comparative studies;
  • analyses of regional/global patterns and trends;
  • innovative modelling methods for flood hazards;
  • new approaches to quantifying risk and uncertainty;
  • advances in flood risk communication, policy making, economics of flood risk reduction;
  • structural and non-structural solutions for flood risk reduction;
  • relationship with other water issues such as drought, water quality; and
  • interactions with land use, food, energy and critical infrastructure.
  • effects of climate change and sea level rise on flood risks

Dr. Bas Jonkman
Dr. Richard Dawson
Guest Editors

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Issues and Challenges in Flood Risk Management—Editorial for the Special Issue on Flood Risk Management
Water 2012, 4(4), 785-792; doi:10.3390/w4040785
Received: 26 September 2012 / Accepted: 7 October 2012 / Published: 12 October 2012
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (167 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recent flood-related disasters (Japan, Thailand, US, Australia) emphasize the need for an effective management of flood risks. As an introduction to this special issue, this editorial summarizes some of the key challenges in the field. Flood risk management needs to recognize the [...] Read more.
Recent flood-related disasters (Japan, Thailand, US, Australia) emphasize the need for an effective management of flood risks. As an introduction to this special issue, this editorial summarizes some of the key challenges in the field. Flood risk management needs to recognize the interconnections between infrastructures, economic systems and the role of human factors in assessing and managing the risk. The challenge for flood management in the future is to develop robust and resilient solutions that perform well in uncertain future conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flood Risk Management)

Research

Jump to: Editorial

Open AccessArticle Sensitivity of Coastal Flood Risk Assessments to Digital Elevation Models
Water 2012, 4(3), 568-579; doi:10.3390/w4030568
Received: 14 June 2012 / Revised: 14 July 2012 / Accepted: 16 July 2012 / Published: 27 July 2012
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (3293 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Most coastal flood risk studies make use of a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) in addition to a projected flood water level in order to estimate the flood inundation and associated damages to property and livelihoods. The resolution and accuracy of a DEM [...] Read more.
Most coastal flood risk studies make use of a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) in addition to a projected flood water level in order to estimate the flood inundation and associated damages to property and livelihoods. The resolution and accuracy of a DEM are critical in a flood risk assessment, as land elevation largely determines whether a location will be flooded or will remain dry during a flood event. Especially in low lying deltaic areas, the land elevation variation is usually in the order of only a few decimeters, and an offset of various decimeters in the elevation data has a significant impact on the accuracy of the risk assessment. Publicly available DEMs are often used in studies for coastal flood risk assessments. The accuracy of these datasets is relatively low, in the order of meters, and is especially low in comparison to the level of accuracy required for a flood risk assessment in a deltaic area. For a coastal zone area in Nigeria (Lagos State) an accurate LiDAR DEM dataset was adopted as ground truth concerning terrain elevation. In the case study, the LiDAR DEM was compared to various publicly available DEMs. The coastal flood risk assessment using various publicly available DEMs was compared to a flood risk assessment using LiDAR DEMs. It can be concluded that the publicly available DEMs do not meet the accuracy requirement of coastal flood risk assessments, especially in coastal and deltaic areas. For this particular case study, the publically available DEMs highly overestimated the land elevation Z-values and thereby underestimated the coastal flood risk for the Lagos State area. The findings are of interest when selecting data sets for coastal flood risk assessments in low-lying deltaic areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flood Risk Management)
Open AccessArticle Coastal Flooding in the Solent: An Integrated Analysis of Defences and Inundation
Water 2012, 4(2), 430-459; doi:10.3390/w4020430
Received: 25 February 2012 / Revised: 16 April 2012 / Accepted: 18 April 2012 / Published: 26 April 2012
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (1721 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper demonstrates a methodology for integrating existing models for the rapid simulation of coastal flood events across a large and varied case study area on the UK south coast. Following validation against observations from real coastal floods, synthetic events driven by [...] Read more.
This paper demonstrates a methodology for integrating existing models for the rapid simulation of coastal flood events across a large and varied case study area on the UK south coast. Following validation against observations from real coastal floods, synthetic events driven by realistic waves and water levels and the full range of failure mechanisms were modelled for a range of loadings to generate peak flood water depths and an overview of impacts across this spectrum of possible floods. Overtopping is relatively important compared to breaching as coastal floodplains are small. This modelling system supports multiple potential applications, such as planning flood warnings, coastal defence upgrade, and land use, including under sea-level rise. The concepts drawn from this study are transferable to similar coastal regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flood Risk Management)
Open AccessArticle “SimDelta”—Inquiry into an Internet-Based Interactive Model for Water Infrastructure Development in The Netherlands
Water 2012, 4(2), 295-320; doi:10.3390/w4020295
Received: 7 February 2012 / Revised: 27 February 2012 / Accepted: 8 March 2012 / Published: 23 March 2012
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2476 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Dutch Delta Program is currently developing new government policies for flood protection and fresh water supply. Decision support instruments have to address the program’s technical and political complexity. The water system functions are highly interwoven and would benefit from an integrated [...] Read more.
The Dutch Delta Program is currently developing new government policies for flood protection and fresh water supply. Decision support instruments have to address the program’s technical and political complexity. The water system functions are highly interwoven and would benefit from an integrated approach on a national level, with decisions supported by a scientific Systems Analysis. Politically, there is a tendency towards broad participation and decentralization, and decision-making is typically supported by Conflict Resolution methods. To connect these two sides of the Delta Program’s task, an outline is presented of an internet community-based interactive instrument, preliminarily named SimDelta. On-line interactive maps and elements of serious gaming intuitively provide local Delta Program participants insight into the interaction between scenarios, problems, and solutions. SimDelta uses the internet to more frequently and efficiently present conceptual designs by architects and engineers to the Delta Program stakeholders, record their preferences, and “crowdsource” corrections, improvements and new ideas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flood Risk Management)
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Open AccessArticle Framework of National Non-Structural Measures for Flash Flood Disaster Prevention in China
Water 2012, 4(1), 272-282; doi:10.3390/w4010272
Received: 6 February 2012 / Revised: 22 February 2012 / Accepted: 12 March 2012 / Published: 19 March 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1121 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In recent years, disasters caused by flash floods with many casualties have occurred frequently in China. In order to effectively prevent flash flood disasters, the State Council approved the National Flash Flood Control Planning (NFFCP) in 2006. In this planning, non-structural measures [...] Read more.
In recent years, disasters caused by flash floods with many casualties have occurred frequently in China. In order to effectively prevent flash flood disasters, the State Council approved the National Flash Flood Control Planning (NFFCP) in 2006. In this planning, non-structural measures are recommended as the first step to be adopted in the prevention of flash floods, debris flow and landslide disasters caused by heavy rainfall. In order to effectively build up a comprehensive non-structural measure system for flash flood disaster prevention, the Ministry of Water Resources has asked the local authorities to conduct studies in 103 pilot counties aiming to explore practical schemes. Based on the experience from these pilot counties, the construction of non-structural measures on flash flood disaster prevention for 1836 counties was officially initiated in 2010. The contents of non-structural measures for flash flood disaster prevention at county level include eight aspects. This paper will systematically illustrate the main contents of this national project for the construction of non-structural measures for flash flood disaster prevention in China. This work could provide a reference for other countries and regions in terms of flash flood prevention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flood Risk Management)
Open AccessArticle A Perspective on Sea Level Rise and Coastal Storm Surge from Southern and Eastern Africa: A Case Study Near Durban, South Africa
Water 2012, 4(1), 237-259; doi:10.3390/w4010237
Received: 3 February 2012 / Accepted: 20 February 2012 / Published: 5 March 2012
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (3463 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recent coastal storms in southern Africa have highlighted the need for more proactive management of the coastline. Within the southern and eastern African region the availability of coastal information is poor. The greatest gap in information is the likely effects of a [...] Read more.
Recent coastal storms in southern Africa have highlighted the need for more proactive management of the coastline. Within the southern and eastern African region the availability of coastal information is poor. The greatest gap in information is the likely effects of a combination of severe sea storms and future sea level rise (SLR) on the shoreline. This lack of information creates a barrier to informed decision making. This research outlines a practical localized approach to this problem, which can be applied as a first order assessment within the region. In so doing it provides a cost effective and simple decision support tool for the built environment and disaster professionals in development and disaster assessments. In a South African context the newly promulgated Integrated Coastal Management Act requires that all proposed coastal developments take into consideration future SLR, however such information currently does not exist, despite it being vital for informed planning in the coastal zone. This practical approach has been applied to the coastline of Durban, South Africa as a case study. The outputs are presented in a Geographic Information System (GIS) based freeware viewer tool enabling ease of access to both professionals and laypersons. This demonstrates that a simple approach can provide valuable information about the current and future risk of flooding and coastal erosion under climate change to buildings, infrastructure as well as natural features along the coast. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flood Risk Management)
Open AccessArticle Physical Vulnerability Assessment Based on Fluid and Classical Mechanics to Support Cost-Benefit Analysis of Flood Risk Mitigation Strategies
Water 2012, 4(1), 196-218; doi:10.3390/w4010196
Received: 28 December 2011 / Revised: 8 February 2012 / Accepted: 13 February 2012 / Published: 28 February 2012
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (319 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The impacts of flood events that occurred in autumn 2011 in the Italian regions of Liguria and Tuscany revived the engagement of the public decision-maker to enhance the synergy of flood control and land use planning. In this context, the design of [...] Read more.
The impacts of flood events that occurred in autumn 2011 in the Italian regions of Liguria and Tuscany revived the engagement of the public decision-maker to enhance the synergy of flood control and land use planning. In this context, the design of efficient flood risk mitigation strategies and their subsequent implementation critically relies on a careful vulnerability analysis of the fixed and mobile elements exposed to flood hazard. In this paper we develop computation schemes enabling dynamic vulnerability and risk analyses for a broad typological variety of elements at risk. To show their applicability, a series of prime examples are discussed in detail, e.g. a bridge deck impacted by the flood and a car, first displaced and subsequently exposed to collision with fixed objects. We hold the view that it is essential that the derivation of the computational schemes to assess the vulnerability of endangered objects should be based on classical and fluid mechanics. In such a way, we aim to complement from a methodological perspective the existing, mainly empirical, vulnerability and risk assessment approaches and to support the design of effective flood risk mitigation strategies by defusing the main criticalities within the systems prone to flood risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flood Risk Management)
Open AccessArticle Mean Sea Level Variability and Influence of the North Atlantic Oscillation on Long-Term Trends in the German Bight
Water 2012, 4(1), 170-195; doi:10.3390/w4010170
Received: 9 January 2012 / Revised: 30 January 2012 / Accepted: 13 February 2012 / Published: 24 February 2012
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (476 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Changes in the seasonal cycle of mean sea level (MSL) may affect the heights of storm surges and thereby flood risk in coastal areas. This study investigates the intra- and inter-annual variability of monthly MSL and its link to the North Atlantic [...] Read more.
Changes in the seasonal cycle of mean sea level (MSL) may affect the heights of storm surges and thereby flood risk in coastal areas. This study investigates the intra- and inter-annual variability of monthly MSL and its link to the North Atlantic Oscillation using records from 13 tide gauges located in the German Bight. The amplitudes of the seasonal MSL cycle are not regionally uniform and vary between 20 and 29 cm. Generally, the amplitudes are smaller at the southwestern stations, increasing as one travels to the northeastern part. The amplitudes, as well as the phase of the seasonal cycle, are characterized by a large inter-annual and inter-decadal variability, but no long-term trend could be detected. Nevertheless, in the last two decades annual maximum peaks more frequently occurred in January and February, whereas beforehand an accumulation was detected for the November and December period. These changes in phase in the various sea level time series are consistent with a shift in the annual cycle, which is, however, not significant. The changes are associated with strongly increasing trends in monthly MSL of the winter season (J–M), which are considerably higher compared to the remaining seasons. For the same season, the MSL and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) indices show strong similarities, resulting in statistically significant correlations (r ~ 0.7). Hence, these changes are linked with changing pressure conditions over the North Atlantic, which lead to a strong phase of positive values in the NAO index between the 1960’s and 1990’s. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flood Risk Management)
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Open AccessArticle Flood Management in California
Water 2012, 4(1), 157-169; doi:10.3390/w4010157
Received: 13 December 2011 / Revised: 29 January 2012 / Accepted: 3 February 2012 / Published: 14 February 2012
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1111 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
California’s development and success have been shaped by its ability to manage floods. This management has varied over the history of California’s economic and political development and continues in various forms today. California will always have flood problems. A range of options [...] Read more.
California’s development and success have been shaped by its ability to manage floods. This management has varied over the history of California’s economic and political development and continues in various forms today. California will always have flood problems. A range of options are available to aid in flood management problems and have been used over time. These options can be contrasted with flood management elsewhere and the types of options used to manage other types of hazards in California, such as earthquakes, wildfires, and droughts. In the future, flood management in California will require greater reliance on local funding and leadership, reflecting diminished federal and state funding, with more effective state and federal guidance. Effective flood management will also tend to integrate flood management with actions to achieve environmental and other water supply objectives, both to gain revenues from a broader range of beneficiaries as well as to make more efficient use of land and water in a state where both are often scarce. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flood Risk Management)
Open AccessArticle Towards a Risk Governance Culture in Flood Policy—Findings from the Implementation of the “Floods Directive” in Germany
Water 2012, 4(1), 135-156; doi:10.3390/w4010135
Received: 1 December 2011 / Revised: 16 January 2012 / Accepted: 16 January 2012 / Published: 2 February 2012
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (577 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The European Directive on the Assessment and Management of Flood Risks is likely to cause changes to flood policy in Germany and other member states. With its risk governance approach, it introduces a holistic and catchment-oriented flood risk management and tries to [...] Read more.
The European Directive on the Assessment and Management of Flood Risks is likely to cause changes to flood policy in Germany and other member states. With its risk governance approach, it introduces a holistic and catchment-oriented flood risk management and tries to overcome shortcomings of the past, such as the event-driven construction of mainly structural measures. However, there is leeway for interpretation in implementing the directive. The present paper gives an overview on the implementation of the floods directive in Germany and is divided into two qualitative empirical case studies. Case Study I investigates the level of acceptance of the floods directive among decision-makers in the German part of the Rhine river basin. Findings show that the federal states respond differently to the impulse given by the floods directive. Whereas some decision-makers opt for a pro-forma implementation, others take it as a starting point to systematically improve their flood policy. Case Study II presents recommendations for a successful implementation of flood risk management plans that have been developed within a project for the water authority in Bavaria and might be interesting for other federal/member states. For a participation of the interested parties on the level of shared decision-making, the planning process has to work on sub-management-plan level (15–20 communities). The water resources authority has to adopt a multi-faceted role (expert, responsible or interested party depending on the discussed topics). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flood Risk Management)
Open AccessArticle Inundation Mapping Initiatives of the Iowa Flood Center: Statewide Coverage and Detailed Urban Flooding Analysis
Water 2012, 4(1), 85-106; doi:10.3390/w4010085
Received: 2 November 2011 / Revised: 31 December 2011 / Accepted: 6 January 2012 / Published: 16 January 2012
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (3642 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The State of Iowa, located in the Midwestern United States, has experienced an increased frequency of large floods in recent decades. After extreme flooding in the summer of 2008, the Iowa Flood Center (IFC) was established for advanced research and education specifically [...] Read more.
The State of Iowa, located in the Midwestern United States, has experienced an increased frequency of large floods in recent decades. After extreme flooding in the summer of 2008, the Iowa Flood Center (IFC) was established for advanced research and education specifically related to floods. IFC seeks to improve Iowa’s flood hazard awareness through the development of easily accessible, high-quality mapping products. Mapping initiatives consist of two model development approaches: (1) statewide floodplain delineation using one-dimensional (1D) models, and (2) urban flood mapping using detailed one-dimensional/two-dimensional (2D) coupled models. The statewide floodplain project will benefit Iowans through the creation of a comprehensive set of floodplain maps developed under a single consistent methodology. These will be important tools in evaluating flood risk, regulating floodplains, and participating in the National Flood Insurance Program. Detailed urban flood analyses are used to develop inundation map libraries. These map libraries are meant to supplement National Weather Service river stage flood forecasts by providing a visual representation of potential flood extent according to predicted river stage at stream gage locations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flood Risk Management)
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Open AccessArticle The 2011 Brisbane Floods: Causes, Impacts and Implications
Water 2011, 3(4), 1149-1173; doi:10.3390/w3041149
Received: 1 November 2011 / Revised: 29 November 2011 / Accepted: 2 December 2011 / Published: 9 December 2011
Cited by 50 | PDF Full-text (4504 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
On 13th January 2011 major flooding occurred throughout most of the Brisbane River catchment, most severely in Toowoomba and the Lockyer Creek catchment (where 23 people drowned), the Bremer River catchment and in Brisbane, the state capital of Queensland. Some 56,200 claims [...] Read more.
On 13th January 2011 major flooding occurred throughout most of the Brisbane River catchment, most severely in Toowoomba and the Lockyer Creek catchment (where 23 people drowned), the Bremer River catchment and in Brisbane, the state capital of Queensland. Some 56,200 claims have been received by insurers with payouts totalling $2.55 billion. This paper backgrounds weather and climatic factors implicated in the flooding and the historical flood experience of Brisbane. We examine the time history of water releases from the Wivenhoe dam, which have been accused of aggravating damage downstream. The dam was built in response to even worse flooding in 1974 and now serves as Brisbane’s main water supply. In our analysis, the dam operators made sub-optimal decisions by neglecting forecasts of further rainfall and assuming a ‘no rainfall’ scenario. Questions have also been raised about the availability of insurance cover for riverine flood, and the Queensland government’s decision not to insure its infrastructure. These and other questions have led to Federal and State government inquiries. We argue that insurance is a form of risk transfer for the residual risk following risk management efforts and cannot in itself be a solution for poor land-use planning. With this in mind, we discuss the need for risk-related insurance premiums to encourage flood risk mitigating behaviours by all actors, and for transparency in the availability of flood maps. Examples of good flood risk management to arise from this flood are described. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flood Risk Management)

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