Despite the amount of work on the subject over the last thirty years - and perhaps even
earlier, as illustrated by the epigraph above from Napoleon III - some basic concepts on
flood risk management have not yet made their way beyond a small circle of researchers.
And even some of these researchers, who specialize in one approach to the problem, are
sometimes rather approximate in their use of concepts that relate to other approaches. In
addition, from looking at media coverage in particular, and, more generally, the so-called
“gray” technical literature on the subject, it becomes clear that certain terms - hazard,
vulnerability, exposure, resilience, prevention, prediction - recur frequently, but not always
with the same meaning, and should therefore be used wisely. Moreover, to believe the
coverage, there has been a recent resurgence in such “disasters,” indicating that the
prevention policies of the last thirty years have been ineffective. That raises a number of
questions. People consistently say that a particular instance of flooding is unprecedented -
which is surprising, and very rarely true, given that the wealth of historical data collected
within these regions shows that large-scale flooding has occurred there in the past.
Agence française de développement (AFD)
You can also access this resource on our Portal
Thank you for recommending this resource.
Share your resources
Are you working to better understand and build community flood resilience? Others can benefit from your knowledge.