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Flooding: Prevention as the Best Option

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.
Author: Gilard, Olivier
Language: English
Pubished By: Agence française de développement (AFD)
Pubished date: 2021

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