Equitable flood risk management

Implementing flood mitigation and adaptation strategies in densely populated areas is a challenging process. The selection of effective strategies depends on the local physical and social context, and uptake of solutions requires cross-cutting coalitions to equitably resolve conflicting interests. Deltares is committed to supporting government agencies worldwide to plan and implement flood protection and adaptation strategies by sharing our knowledge and tools, helping to select and design effective measures and to facilitate stakeholder processes.

Effective and equitable flood risk strategies

Attaining equitable flood risk management hinges on understanding evolving floods and impacts, and discerning impacts for the most vulnerable. Deltares pioneers FloodAdapt, an open, user-friendly, physics-based flood and impact decision support system. This tool brings modeling innovations to non-technical end-users and empowers local governments to evaluate meaningful “what-if” scenarios, such as specific events, future conditions, or protective measures. The result: quality flood and impact maps, equity-focused visuals, and informative metrics. FloodAdapt cultivates insight for evaluating strategies, propels stakeholder engagement, and enhances communication. FloodAdapt has been piloted in Charleston, South Carolina, and will be applied with government agencies in Maryland, Denmark, Trinidad, and Mozambique.

'FloodAdapt can be a game- changing tool for community and stakeholder education and communication in any community.'

Dale Morris, Chief Resilience Officer & Senior Policy Advisor to the Mayor, Charleston, South Carolina

Implementing flood risk measures

In 2023, Deltares supported the Federal Flood Commission of Pakistan to update the national flood protection plan, following the disastrous floods of 2022. In close cooperation with local consultants, communities and 27 provincial and federal agencies, an integrated flood risk management plan was developed, as a way forward from the existing plan that mainly focused on flood protection. Guidelines on flood risk assessment and nature-based solutions were provided as well as guidelines to strengthen mitigating measures by including (impacts on) vulnerable groups such as landless small farmers, ethnic and religious minorities, women and the elderly.

Health issues were a major concern during the 2023 Pakistan floods. In general, health impacts of floods, such as waterborne diseases, vector-borne diseases, mental health concerns and disruption of health-related infrastructure, impose a significant burden on flood-prone regions. Deltares is developing tools and procedures to incorporate and quantify health impacts in flood risk assessment and management. We support management of floods and health, connect stakeholders, explore new trade-offs (flood investments vs. reduced health impact), and help problem-holders establish comprehensive solutions and investment programs.

'The Updated National Flood Protection Plan IV has brought a paradigm shift in traditional flood control planning and management in Pakistan through Integrated Flood Risk Management approach'

Ahmed Kamal, Chairman of the Federal Flood Commission, Pakistan

Community consultation in Jameel Dal village, Sindh province, Pakistan

External references

All Sendai priority’s

Kathryn Roscoe

Ferdinand Diermanse