Effective and equitable flood risk management plans

The challenge of effective flood protection strategies

Implementing flood protection measures and flood mitigation strategies in densely populated landscapes, with intensive land use, is challenging. The selection of effective measures and strategies depend on the local physical and social context. Moreover, implementation involves cross-cutting coalitions to resolve conflicting interests in a suitable and equitable way, to ensure uptake of solutions. Deltares supports governments and governmental authorities worldwide to plan and implement flood protection strategies, by sharing our knowledge and tools to select and design effective measures and to facilitate stakeholder processes.

Implementing flood risk measures, in the Netherlands and abroad

In the Netherlands, Deltares initiated the “Waterveiligheidslandschappen” approach (which translates to flood resilient landscapes). This approach explores how the selection and implementation of flood risk reduction measures can contribute not only to protect the population from floods, but also to ensure environmental quality and multi-use of scarce space in a sustainable way. Optimizing future spatial planning and combining different societal values play a key role in this method. 

Deltares conducts research on which factors hinder the implementation of plans to manage flood risks. With this information, we develop guidelines with methods, approaches and examples to facilitate the realization of these plans. In 2021, together with the World Bank, Deltares presented a new perspective to better manage hydro-climatic risks called the “EPIC (Enabling-Planning-Investing-Control) Response”, which provides a comprehensive framework to help national governments lead a whole-of-society effort to manage flood and drought risks. 

'Climate hazards do not have to become disasters if flood and drought risks are properly managed. The EPIC Response Framework provides a new perspective for countries to proactively manage these risks, supporting the agencies working on flood and drought to collaborate in a whole-of-society effort. I encourage you not only to read the report but to use it to help governments stand up to one of the most pressing challenges of our time'

Ana Nunez Sanchez (expert Resilience and Planning, Deltares)

Deltares actively contributes to the implementation of flood risk reduction plans in developing countries. In 2013 we developed the Masterplan Beira 2035 (Mozambique) with partners and local stakeholders. The Masterplan provides a vision on future projects needed to adapt this poor coastal city to climate change and population growth. This plan identified the most important threats to be coastal flooding, sea level rise and pluvial flooding in combination with reduced drainage capacity. It laid the groundwork for several projects which are presently ongoing or in consideration, such as the coastal protection and drainage projects. 

Projects resulting from the Master Plan of Beira, Mozambique

'Deltares has supported us with their technical expertise and scientific knowledge. It is with no doubt that this partnership will contribute to the overall development of a resilient Marshall Islands'

Chief Secretary Kino Kabua (Marshall Islands)

In order to make Small Island Developing States (SIDS) more climate-resilient, we advise the local government on possible strategies to deal with hydro-meteo and climate risks and provide a perspective for action for governments to implement measures through stakeholder engagement and institutional analyses with a keen eye for social inclusion. This allows for the participation of all types of actors including (vulnerable) communities to ‘co-create’. In the Marshall Islands we contribute to the National Adaptation Strategy. This provides a perspective for action to the local government and helps them in the decision-making process.

Realizing impact

Both in the Netherlands and abroad, we (co-)develop strategies and help governments implement measures to manage flood and drought risks. Building on our knowledge base and software, we tailor make implementable solutions for the local authorities to contribute to a more flood safe world.

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More information

Ana Nunez Sanchez


Annemargreet de Leeuw