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RiskManagementGeneral Description of global water problemsThe Dublin principles and internationally agreedconventions provide a basis for water security. Theseprinciples and norms must be translated intopractice. The Framework for Action, summarisedhere, provides a structure for doing this.Efforts to achieve water security —at all levels—constitute a key component of strategies to meetagreed International Development Targets for 2015related to reducing poverty, improving health,eliminating malnutrition and maintaining a healthyenvironment. A key step in meeting these targetswould be the universal adoption of specific watersecurity targets. These global targets can only beachieved if each country sets its own national watersecurity targets and a timetable for achieving them.Clear definitions and indicators will need to bedeveloped for each target and a detailed assessment ofthe resources needed required to achieve them, as wellas a monitoring system to measure progress.1494th World Water ForumIndicative Global Water Security TargetsTHEMATIC DOCUMENTFRAMEWORK THEME 5RISK MANAGEMENT4TH WORLD WATER FORUMMEXICO CITY, MARCH 2006• Comprehensive policies and strategies forintegrated water resources management (IWRM) inprocess of implementation in 75% of countries by2005 and in all countries by 2015.• Proportion of people not having access to hygienicsanitation facilities.• Proportion of people not having sustainable accessto adequate quantities of affordable and safe waterreduced by half by 2015.• Proportion of people not having sustainable accessto adequate quantities of affordable and safe waterreduced by half by 2015.


• Increase water productivity for food productionfrom rainfed and irrigated farming by 30% by 2015• Reduce the risk from floods for 50% of the peopleliving in floodplains by 2015.• National standards to ensure the health offreshwater eco-systems established in all countriesby 2005, and programmes to improve the health offreshwater eco-systems implemented by 2015.1504th World Water ForumAs the 21st century opens, many urgent issuescompete for the attention of the public and politicians.The message of water security, and recognition of itspivotal role in sustainable development, must bebrought to the attention of those at the highestpolitical level. Inevitably, it is the poorest countries andthe poorest people (usually women and children)within those countries who suffer the worst effects ofthe water crisis. Most water-related problems manifestthemselves at the local level, although theyinterconnect with water problems elsewhere andcannot be solved independently.


TABLE OF CONTENTS149 General description of global water problems150 Executive summary155 1. GENERAL INTRODUCTION155 A. Facts156 B. Challenges157 C. Scope of the theme157 D. “Local actions for global solutions”159 2. RISK MANAGEMENT159 A. The risk management cycle160 B. Preparedness164 C. Response166 D. Recovery167 3. WATER RELATED HAZARDS167 A. Climate change or population development?168 B. Droughts170 C. Floods and other excess of water174 D. Man-made hazards176 4. WATER ETHICS176 A. Ethics176 B. Hydro-solidarity178 5. CROSSCUTTING PERSPECTIVES178 A. Financial aspects178 B. Institutional development179 C. Capacity building and social learning179 D. Application of science, technology and knowledge180 E. Targeting, monitoring and implementation assessment181 6. THE PREPARATORY PROCESS AND ITS CONCLUSIONS181 A. The virtual workshop181 i. Purpose of the virtual workshop181 ii. Findings of the virtual workshop discussion183 B. The Regional Inputs183 i. Africa184 ii. The Americas187 iii. Asia189 iv. Europe191 C. Future perspectives1514th World Water Forum192 Disclaimer and copyright192 References of key documents and organizations on risk management192 Description of the beacons involved


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY1524th World Water ForumAs the impacts of natural and especially water relateddisasters on human livelihoods are constantlyincreasing, the correct management of these risksbecomes more necessary than ever. In this sense, thisthematic document seeks to provide a sound basis fordiscussion on the Risk Management theme at theFourth World Water Forum in Mexico City. Itrepresents the outcomes of a consultative processinitiated by the Beacons of Risk Management in late2004 and culminated in a virtual workshop held in late2005.The increasingly serious economic impacts ofwater-related disasters, has continued during the pasthalf century. Poor and developing countries areevidently the hardest hit, both in number of affectedpeople and in the economic impacts on nationaleconomies. Over the last 30 years the number of liveslost to natural disasters has declined and levelled offat about 80,000 per year, but the number of peopleaffected and estimated economic losses have beensteadily increasing. In recent times, 90% of naturaldisasters are weather and climate related and thedeath toll from these hydrometeorological disastershas accounted for 71% of all deaths due to naturaldisasters.Risk is part of daily life of human beings. Thestruggle against extreme events like floods anddroughts is as old as mankind. But in the last decadesnew challenges have changed the circumstances andare likely to influence the debate on risk managementat the 4th World Water Forum:• Climate change and the therewith associatedincreasing uncertainty of the future.• The increasing use of water and land resources andthe decreasing acceptance of risk by the generalpublic.• The need for basin-wide approaches within theconcept of integrated management strategies.• The increasing urbanization in risk-prone areas andthe consequential rise in exposure to hazards.• The expectations put into science and technologyto mitigate risk and the uneven worldwidedistribution of knowledge.The impacts of disasters are directly linked to thecoping capacity of the affected communities, but thephenomena are of a global concern. Thisconsideration leads to the central premise of the4th World Water Forum, that local actions are requiredto be taken in order to meet these global challenges.Virtually every aspect of water managementinvolves taking decisions about appropriate levels ofrisk, but within this thematic area discussions willfocus on extreme events such as failure of waterinfrastructure, due to natural or man-madeconditions, and especially the effects of extremeclimatic events, such as flooding and drought. Riskproduced by extreme climatic conditions is afunction of the magnitude of the hazard, thedegree of exposure of a society or community tothe hazard and the vulnerability of society againstdamage due to the hazard. The management of risk,therefore, has to take into account all these threecomponents and form a systematic processcomprising all forms of activities, including structuraland non-structural measures to avoid or to limitadverse effects of hazards. There is need to take intoaccount risks emanating from extreme events intothe development process in general and waterresources management in particular. Watermanagement should learn how to factor water hazardrisks along with compounding pressures, such as


demography, land use, including urbanization anddeforestation, and climate. Consequently, IntegratedWater Resources Management (IWRM) shouldincorporate risk management principles.An integrated risk management approach consistsof systematic actions in a cycle of preparedness,response and recovery. These actions are taken,depending on the conditions of risk and social,economic and physical settings, with major focus onreducing vulnerability and improving resilience.These have to be addressed through local actions toovercome the global challenges.Preparedness consists of preventive andprecautionary measures to prepare for an event beforeit occurs. It aims at minimizing the effect ofdevelopment activities on accentuating the magnitudeof hazards, reducing the exposure to natural hazardsand minimizing the socio-economic vulnerability ofpeople and material assets exposed to these hazards.Prevention deals with long-term planning and isincorporated into the development process.Preparation deals with reducing the vulnerability atlocal level and limiting the extent of adverse impact ofthe inevitable event in the short-term. Stepping upinvestments in structural measures is necessary toreach “water security”, i.e. coping with too much ortoo little water. But the strategy should incorporatealso the non-structural measures and include copingwith risks. There is a need to build up the resilience tohazards in society, through a participatory assessmentof risks, vulnerabilities and capacities linked to actionplanning by communities. Furthermore, an adequatetransfer of new technological developments andknowledge dissemination, in particular to the LeastDeveloped Countries, is urgently needed.Response consists of measures that limit theeffects of exposure to a hazard, and its duration. Itmainly focuses on alerting people, rescuing victims andproviding assistance in cases of need. But it alsoincludes immediate measures to prevent furtheradverse impacts, provisional reconditioning ofimportant infrastructure and documenting events.The Recovery phase aims at enabling theeconomic and social activities to return to normalwith a minimum delay. It also involves the analysisof the disaster in order to learn lessons and integratecorrective measures into prevention andpreparedness plans.The effectiveness of the risk management cyclein reducing risks and damages depends on thepolitical will to apply the risk managementprinciples in development planning, the existence ofwell-defined institutional responsibilities and ademocratic process of consultation and socialcontrol with effective governance. It sums up to afundamental move beyond disaster response andreaction, towards anticipation and mitigation.Strategies to minimize risks will varyconsiderably according to the type of hazard andthe society. While global climate change canactually modify the frequency of hazards and thehydrological cycles, it affects to a much lesserdegree both “exposure” and “vulnerability”; thelatter being influenced essentially by the expansionof world population and developmental activities inthe areas of high risk. The peculiarities of thedifferent water-related hazards, such as floods anddroughts, and the appropriate managementstrategies form a major aspect in this thematicdocument and should as well be considered in depthduring the discussions at the World Water Forum. Afurther emphasis is put on the risk management tocope with man-made hazards, such as technicalfailures and water pollution.The development and the respect of water ethicsbecomes a key element of successful implementationof integrated and sustainable water resources andrisk management. Since absolute safety against riskscannot be achieved, one basic question is how farthe efforts to protect a community shall go. Asensible balance has to be held between short-termconcentrated interests and long-term dispersedbeneficiaries.In relation to water resources management, andparticularly when dealing with hazards, hydrosolidarityis of specific concern. The followingaspects should be considered:• The consideration of the basin as the basicplanning unit and the participation of all thestakeholders have to be ensured.• The humanitarian solidarity should be formalizedand optimized.• A better integration of ecological values witheconomic considerations has to be developed.1534th World Water Forum


1544th World Water ForumCommon to all the phases of risk management aresome crucial crosscutting aspects. Considering thefinancial side of the issue, the internationaldevelopment and financial institutions should focusmore on disaster risk reduction and move fromresponse to preparedness to risks. To be able to makethe most adequate use of the available funds,institutional development and cooperation ondifferent levels is necessary. This might, in some cases,require some substantial institutional reform; the keyto successful risk management being not only a soundlegal basis, but obviously also its reliable enforcement.Capacity development programmes for watermanagers, as well as public awareness raisingprogrammes on risk management are direly wanted,as despite the uncertainties and limitedunderstanding, the potential human, economic andenvironmental impacts are so high that actions tomitigate and to adapt cannot be delayed further.Along with capacity building, the application ofscience, technology and knowledge has to be fostered.Here, the inequality of knowledge and technologybetween the global and the local scale poses thebiggest challenge.Finally, risk management strategies will evolvewith every new disaster and thus, their effectivenesshas to be monitored somehow and the mostappropriate assessment tools have to be found out.Reasonable targets, like halving the number of lossesof human lives due to water related disasters by 2015should be sufficiently motivating for the internationalcommunity.This thematic document on Risk Management issupposed to serve as a discussion basis at the4th World Water Forum and it has already undergonean extensive preparatory process. This includes thecreation of a preliminary baseline document that hasbeen discussed and commented through thepreparatory process to the Forum, including theRegional Process and a virtual workshop.As the first part of this document concentrates ongeneral risk management approaches specific to thehazards without considering the specificities ofdifferent regions, the approaches favoured in variousparts of the world have been included to furthercomplement the document. This section was based onthe outcomes of the regional preparatory processes ofAfrica, Asia, America and Europe.As final conclusions of the preparatory process,seven key messages, which should be seriouslyconsidered at the 4th World Water Forum, could beformulated and should hopefully be seen as valuableperspectives of Risk Management in the future.


1. GENERALINTRODUCTIONA. FactsThe increasingly serious economic impacts of naturaldisasters, and in particular the water-related naturaldisasters, has continued during the past half century.The International Federation of Red Cross and RedCrescent Societies, for instance, keeps records of thetype and number of reported disasters, the number ofpeople reported killed and affected by disasters, anddamage estimates by country. Their data reveal clearlythat, in recent times, 90% of natural disasters areweather and climate related. In the decade 1993-2002,drought and famine accounted for 82% of all thepeople affected in Africa, 48% in Oceania and 35% inthe Americas, whereas floods accounted for 69% ofthose affected in Asia. Since the 1970s the number ofwater-related natural disasters has tripled (see Figure1), while the economic costs, excluding the December2004 tsunami event, have risen 5-fold (from $US 131to over 600 billion/year).Figure 1: Origin of natural disasters4003503002502001501005001900 1905 1910 1915 1920 1925 1930 1935 1940 1945 1950 1955 1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2004Biological Geological HydrometeorogicalSource: International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR)Poor and developing countries are evidently thehardest hit, both in number of affected people andin the economic impacts on national economies.Richer countries are certainly not exempt, aswitnessed by the recent catastrophe caused byhurricane Katrina in the southern United States.While more affluent people and economies can beseverely crippled, they generally have a strongersafety net and insurance system. To illustrate theeconomic impact in relative terms, between 1985and 1999 the Least Developed Countries (LDC) lost13.4% of their GDP to disasters and developedcountries just over 4%. Management of waterrelatedrisks has great impact on the capacity ofmany developing countries to achieve theMillennium Development Goals.Moreover, vulnerable populations everywhere arefurther crippled by economic insecurity in the formof a lack of incomes, access to savings, employmentwith social protection, education, and control overproductive resources prior to the onslaught of adisaster. Poor, uneducated women whose lives aremarred by a lack of such assets, in addition toextensive domestic responsibilities, are especiallyand clearly at risk, making them economicallyvulnerable long before a natural disaster occurs.The death toll from hydrometeorological disastershas accounted for 71% of all deaths due to naturaldisasters. Over the last 30 years the number of liveslost to natural disasters has declined and levelled offat about 80,000 per year, but the number of peopleaffected and estimated economic losses have beensteadily increasing (see Figure 2). Individually, waterrelatedhazards could turn into disasters killingthousands of people in a single event, such as in thecase of the tsunami in the Indian Ocean in December1554th World Water Forum


1564th World Water Forum2004, where more than 230,000 people died andseveral thousands are still missing. The economicimpact has been devastating in the areas impacted bythe event.Figure 2: People affected by natural disastersIn million700600500400300200100019701972Source: ISDR1974197619781980198219841986198819901992199419961998200020022004However, unlike economic damages, the socialeffects of natural disasters, particularly humansuffering related to physical and mental distress as aresult of loss of and separation from loved ones, andloss of jobs and homes is extremely difficult toquantify.Another significant and crucial component relatedto the social effects of disasters is that ”whereverthey hit, pre-existing structures and social conditionsdetermine that some members of the community willbe less affected and others will pay a higher price”.One such difference that determines how people areaffected by such disasters is gender. There is evidencethat many more women and children than men diedin Aceh province, Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka inDecember 2004. In one case up to 80% of the villagepopulation confirmed dead were women.Besides losses to humans and their property,natural disasters can also cause damage to culturalassets. These losses are not necessarily measurable byeconomic scales.B. ChallengesRisk is part of daily life of human beings. The struggleagainst extreme events like floods and droughts is asold as mankind. But in the last decades newchallenges have changed the circumstances and arelikely to influence the debate on risk management atthe 4th World Water Forum:A) Climate change is likely to impact climatevariability, making extreme events more severe andmore frequent and is expected to changehydrological cycles. This increased variability willbe accompanied by higher uncertainty, influencingdecision-making in planning and economicdevelopment. As these changes are not yetpredictable, the effective dealing with uncertaintyrepresents a new challenge, not only to the watersector. The development of methods to tackle thischallenge, like “climate proofing” tools, is thereforehighly opportune and necessary.B) Increasing world population and economic growthlead to a more intense use of water and landresources. Even under stable climatic conditions,but even more in view of likely climate change, theintensified use will lead to more frequent deficits,thus making water a scarcer and more valuablegood. Parallel to the intensified use, the generalpublic is less and less willing to accept risk. This islikely to result in social conflicts and even armedhostilities.C) There is a rising awareness of the need for anintegrated water resources management,considering the river basin as the basic planningunit. This brings into focus the concept ofinvolvement of all stakeholders at local, basinnational and international levels. The building upof ‘hydro-solidarity’ implies a higher ethicalinvolvement of citizens in their interaction withwater, particularly during crisis.D) Today a continuously increasing part of the world’spopulation is living in risk-prone areas. Many megacities and economically important centres are infact located either on the coast or in low lands,thus presenting a large damage potential in caseof extreme events. By this urbanisation process,hazards are increasingly transforming intodisasters, putting development and povertyreduction at risk and increasingly moving us awayfrom achieving the Millennium Development Goals.


E) There is a rising concern that damages resultingfrom water-related disasters are growingdisproportionately worldwide. Additionally,population growth, economic progress anddevelopment in general bring as a consequence thepresence of more valuable assets that are beingexposed to natural hazards. Hence, there is awidespread expectation that technological andscientific advances should ensure greaterprotection against the impacts of natural disastersthan in the past. This requires an availability ofprofessional capacity to deal with complex issuesthat is distributed only very heterogeneously acrossthe world.Although these are worldwide trends, actions to buildresilient communities and to prepare to meet thechallenges have to be more and more taken locally.C. Scope of the themeRisk is characterised by uncertainty and the relatedpotential damage. It is proposed that this frameworktheme concentrate on exceptional events with largedamages and that risk management should considerextraordinary measures. If a definition of “exceptional”is necessary, it may be proposed from thehydrometeorological point of view that events that arewithin one standard deviation of the observed seriesare considered as normal events, which corresponds toreturn periods of about 10 years. This definition maybe of little use in some cases, because poorer societiescannot afford high protection levels against rareevents.A more useful definition may be the one used bythe International Strategy of Disaster Reduction (ISDR),which is based on the coping capacity of the affectedsociety. A disaster is therefore:“A serious disruption of the functioning of acommunity or a society causing widespread human,material, economic or environmental losses whichexceed the ability of the affected community orsociety to cope using its own resources.”This implies that there are local disasters that canbe dealt with by local or regional disaster assistanceorganisations and that there are regional or evennational disasters that require national or internationalassistance. This definition only implicitly includes theterms “frequent” or “exceptional”, since a societyadapts to frequent events, even if that only meanshaving the capacity for timely evacuation of theendangered area. The definition also implies that thesize of a disaster is related to the specific societyaffected, that one of the most important riskmanagement measures is to increase the copingcapacity, and it illustrates the fact that the weaker areusually the most severely affected by natural disasters.Risk is an integral part of social and economicprocesses and is often increased by humaninterference with natural hydrometeorologicalprocesses. Virtually every aspect of water managementinvolves taking decisions about appropriate levels ofrisk. These decisions may be divided into five broadcategories:- variation in supply compared to demand,- water quality,- competing demands for water,- failure of water infrastructure, and- the effects of extreme climatic events.The first three categories are associated with normaluncertainty and are the focus of integrated waterresources management. These topics will be discussedat the 4th World Water Forum under other thematicareas. Failure of water infrastructure, due to natural orman-made conditions, and the effects of extremeclimatic events, such as flooding and drought, will bediscussed within this thematic area on the basis of thisdocument.D. “Local actions for global solutions”The above considerations lead to the central premiseof the 4th World Water Forum that local actions arerequired to be taken in order to meet these globalchallenges. It should always be remembered thatchance and risk are a pair. In order to survive, chancesmust be taken, which implies that risks must be taken.Risks are increased or mitigated by a number oflocal or regional actions, which, when summed up,show their effect on the whole watershed and over thelong time scale. Therefore, the 4th World Water Forumwill privilege the value of local knowledge, experienceand action, as a key factor in the success of waterpolicy-making. The Forum expects concrete and policyorientedoutputs with respect to:1574th World Water Forum


- mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction policies indevelopment planning, particularly in integratedwater resources management,- formulation of strategies for local adaptation toclimate change and variability as well as to otherextreme natural phenomena,- formulation of strategies to deal with social conflictand the threat of armed conflict, and- crafting local water ethics and hydro-solidarity.1584th World Water Forum


2. RISK MANAGEMENTA. The Risk Management CycleRisk produced by extreme climatic conditions is afunction of the magnitude of the hazard, the degree ofexposure to the hazard and the vulnerability of societyagainst damage due to the hazard (see Figure 3).Vulnerability is a combination of complex andinterrelated set of mutually reinforcing and dynamicfactors that increase the susceptibility of a communityto the impact of hazards. The nature of these factorscan be physical, economic, social, political, technical,ideological, cultural, educational, ecological andinstitutional. Various agencies have developed sets ofindicators that can be used to approach and respondto vulnerability issues.Figure 3: Elements of RiskVulnerabilityHazard(Magnitude)RISKExposure(Source: Associated Programme on Flood Management)In accordance with the ISDR Terminology (2004),Disaster Risk Management comprises:"The systematic process, administrative decisions,organisation, operational skills and abilities toimplement policies, strategies, and copingcapacities of the society and communities tolessen the impacts of natural hazards and relatedenvironmental and technological disasters”.This comprises all forms of activities, includingstructural and non-structural measures to avoid(prevention) or to limit (mitigation and preparedness)adverse effects of hazards.Higher population pressures on natural resourcesare forcing people to carry their socio-economicalactivities to areas exposed to natural hazards,compelling them to take higher risks in search oflivelihoods. The increase in the economicinfrastructure in hazard-prone areas anddevelopment activities that have the potential toincrease the magnitude of hazards, haveconsiderably increased risk over the past decades. Arisk culture that allows and enables us to assess,evaluate and reduce the prevailing risks and theirescalation due to development activities is required.There is need to take into account risksemanating from extreme events into thedevelopment process in general and water resourcesmanagement in particular. Sustainable developmentshould take account of hydrological variabilitythrough appropriate risk management policies in allclimatic zones and hydrological regimes. IntegratedWater Resources Management (IWRM) shouldincorporate risk management principles in dealingwith extreme hydrological events like floods anddroughts.1594th World Water Forum


1604th World Water ForumWater management should learn how tofactor water hazard risks along withcompounding pressures, such as demography,land use, including urbanization anddeforestation, and climate.An integrated risk management approach providesmeasures for preventing a hazard turning into adisaster. It consists of systematic actions in a cycle ofpreparedness, response and recovery (see Figure 4) andshould form part of IWRM. These actions are taken,depending on the conditions of risk and social,economic and physical settings, with major focus onreducing vulnerability and improving resilience. Thesehave to be addressed through local actions toovercome the global challenges.Figure 4: Risk Management CyclePreparations• Organisation• Resourceplanning• Deploymentplanning• InsurancePrevention• Land use planning• Technical measures• Biological measuresEventReducing vulnerabilityanalysis• Warning• InformationPreparednessAssessinghazardsand risksRecoveryReconstrucion• Definitive repair• Reconstruction• Strengthening of resilience• Financing(Source: Swiss Civil protection)Intervention• Alert• Rescue• Damage mitigation• Information/InstructionsPreparedness consists of preventive andprecautionary measures to prepare for an event beforeit occurs. It aims at minimizing the effect ofdevelopment activities on accentuating the magnitudeof hazards, reducing the exposure to natural hazardsand minimizing the socio-economic vulnerability ofpeople and material assets exposed to these hazards.Prevention deals with long-term planning and isincorporated into the development process.ResponseLimitingextent of damageRecondition• Provisional repair• Supply and disposal• Transport systems• Communications• Financing• Emergency legislationEventanalysisPreparation deals with reducing the vulnerability atlocal level and limiting the extent of adverse impactof the inevitable event in the short-term.Response consists of measures that limit theeffects of exposure to a hazard, and its duration. Itmainly focuses on alerting people, rescuing victimsand providing assistance in cases of need. It alsoincludes immediate measures to prevent furtheradverse impacts, provisional reconditioning ofimportant infrastructure and documenting events.The Recovery phase aims at enabling theeconomic and social activities to return to normalwith a minimum delay. It also involves the analysis ofthe disaster in order to learn lessons and integratecorrective measures into prevention and preparednessplans.It is important to understand that while a nation’splanning capabilities, technological tools andmethods might be adequate, the capacity to enforcethese plans may be affected by politicalconsiderations and thus become close to nonexistent.Short-term political gains are frequently obtained atthe cost of hindering long-term risk management(the “if it is not in my term then it is not myproblem” syndrome). The political functionaries arejudged by the public who, driven by short-term gainsdue to lack of knowledge of risk, vulnerability orexposure, may demand actions that might not be inthe long-term interest of the society as a whole. Theeffectiveness of the risk management cycle inreducing risks and damages depends on the politicalwill to apply the risk management principles indevelopment planning, the existence of well-definedinstitutional responsibilities and a democratic processof consultation and social control with effectivegovernance. It sums up to a fundamental movebeyond disaster response and reaction, towardsanticipation and mitigation.B. PreparednessPreventionPrevention impacts all three elements of risk, that is:magnitude of the hazard, exposure to hazard andvulnerability to hazard. In the classical sense itmeans protection by structural measures againstexposure, for example by building dikes. In a broadersense it encompasses any measure to decreaseexposure, prevent an increase in hazard magnitude


through appropriate land use, and reducevulnerability by adopting appropriate constructionstandards.Structural designConstruction of water resources infrastructure requiresan assessment of the present and a reliable projectionof the future hydrological variability. Potential effectsof climate change and variability on societies shouldbe minimized. By combining historical data with thelatest tools and information from seasonal and longtermclimate forecasting models, it is possible toassess the potential impacts of climate variability,particularly extreme events, on the resource base andto develop planning and operational strategies thatwill increase resilience in the society.Protection worksThe types of structural protection works arenumerous and must be adapted to the type ofhazard. Since 100% protection is not possible, anyprevention measure has a predefined protectiontarget or design standard. This target variesaccording to the economic and social values to beprotected and according to the economic capacity ofthe society to protect them. These protection targetsoften are or become insufficient, either becauseknowledge of the hazard has improved (e.g. climatechange) or due to an increase of the values to beprotected (i.e. population development). There isalways a residual risk associated with such measures.In all such cases prevention measures have to beaccompanied by worst-case scenario emergencyplanning, which forms a key element ofpreparedness. Regular inspection, maintenance andthe effective execution thereof on the basis ofwatershed areas should be included in policies oneffective risk management.Unfortunately, the geopolitical evolution of theworld in recent times creates the need to takevoluntary man-made hazards into consideration andeventually the guarding of particularly largestructures whose destruction would have adisastrous impact on their surrounding.Adapting land-use plansKnowledge about the hazard is a prerequisite for asuccessful mitigation. Hazard and risk maps must beestablished, even if only a residual risk exists.Avoiding exposure to the hazard by keeping hazardzones free of intensive economic use is a frequentlyrecommended concept. However, it cannot beapplied universally. In many countries flood plainscontain the most fertile soils and a diversity ofecosystems that provide livelihood to millions ofpeople, and as such cannot be abandoned for wantof alternative livelihood options. But, where thepossibility exists and a choice of location is possible,hazard zones should be used for activities with lowdamage potential. Appropriate building codes andzoning restrictions should be established with theobjective, not to avoid, but to minimize the risk inthese areas. With a multi-hazard approach in mind,it is also interesting to take into account the positiveside effects of some land uses (e.g. the conservationof pervious surface areas as farmland will also beeffective as evacuation areas for other hazards).The prescription of what constitutes a goodpractice is highly dependent on the type of hazard.Land-use plans must be revised regularly. Changesare necessary, partly owing to economic developmentand partly because of the improved knowledge of thehazard. A good moment for such revisions is shortlyafter a severe event, because of greater awareness,accompanied by a higher chance of acceptability andapplicability. As a basis for disaster prevention,strategic action plans should include land-use plansand allow for evaluation of risk conditions.Infrastructure and Building CodesThe house is the first line of defence against hazards.A strong house can withstand the impact of avariety of hazards. This is one of the reasons for thereduced number of lives lost in developed countries,1614th World Water Forum


1624th World Water Forumexcept under events with high dynamic forces, forexample with debris flows or avalanches. Insurancecompanies can be helpful in encouraging adoption ofstrict building regulations. Unfortunately, this is notthe case in developing countries where the affectedpopulation, normally coming from the economicallyweaker sections of society, is hardly able to affordadequate shelter. Hence the number of fatalities ismuch higher for a similar impact. Safe buildings area key element in reducing vulnerability. Adequatebuilding codes can improve resilience for severalrisks including earthquakes, if integrated standardsare established. There is need for greater scientificand technological inputs for the development oflow-cost hazard-resistant houses.Stepping up investments in structuralmeasures is necessary to reach “watersecurity”, i.e. coping with too much or toolittle water. The strategy should incorporatealso the non-structural measures andinclude coping with risks.Development infrastructure that forms theeconomic and social lifeline of a society, such ascommunication links, hospitals, etc. should bedesigned to withstand the most severe of naturalhazards and be functional even under a disastersituation. Furthermore, such infrastructure shouldnot increase the magnitude of the hazards.PreparationAwareness and EducationThere can be no preparedness without awareness ofthe existing hazards by all segments of thepopulation. Risk and vulnerability are the result ofmany small actions, which cannot be controlled bythe State. Unless the population at risk is aware ofthe risks, local communities and their energiescannot be mobilized to build resilience, for instanceto move to a safe place in the case of an event or tominimize vulnerability before an event. Awarenesscan only be provided through education and regulartraining particularly in areas exposed to infrequenthazards or with new settlements.Women and children are particularly relevant ineducation strategies. There is a strong link betweenthe well being of children and that of women. Thus,improving the situation of women is the best way toadvance on protection and survival of children whendisasters strike. Women and children aredisproportionately affected by natural disasters, asthey often do not receive warnings and otherinformation about hazards and risks and theirmobility may be restricted or affected due to culturaland social constraints.However, women can play a central role in riskreduction measures and can be an important sourcefor change that needs to be further strengthened.Recognizing and stimulating the capacities ofwomen as a social force and enhancing efforts toprotect their safety is crucial in disaster prevention.One of the best stages to implant learning about therisks and vulnerabilities associated with hazards is atschool. Young people represent the future of asociety. To ensure that they live in disaster-resilientsocieties requires educating children to be aware ofhazards that could threaten them and their families,and to be familiar with measures that can beundertaken to reduce negative consequences ofdisasters. When children learn about disasterreduction at school, they can act as catalysts inchanging the entire community to increase its longtermresilience, as their participation addresses bothshort-term disaster preparedness needs and longtermbehavioural changes of the community.ResilienceThere is a need to build up the resilience tohazards in society, through a participatoryassessment of risks, vulnerabilities andcapacities linked to action planning bycommunities.


There is a need to build up the resilience to hazardsin society, through an encompassing process ofeconomic and social development, whereby personsand groups become less vulnerable through improvedaccess to employment, education, health care andultimately to income. This could comprise:- preserving those elements of a community whichmake them more resilient to hazards (preservingthe know-how of how to build stilt houses, forexample),- improving social welfare facilities,- protecting livelihoods and diversifying localeconomies, and- building-in planned redundancies (e.g. building twoevacuation routes rather than one, having back uppower generation capacity, etc.).The use of traditional and indigenous knowledge iscrucial to reduce the impact of disasters. Communitybaseddisaster management through mitigationprogrammes is essential, since community–basedorganizations are the first in responding to hazards.Therefore, they need to be empowered; theirmanagement capabilities need to be strengthened; andtheir participation should be incorporated into disastermitigation strategies.MonitoringHydrometeorological disasters are increasing inmagnitude and frequency for many reasons. It isunfortunate that, at the same time,hydrometeorological monitoring has been decreasing,due to the current tendency of governments to reducefunding for operation of monitoring networks and toallocate more resources as direct output to society.A good example of the above is the radiosondestations network, which provides the most basic andfundamental data for the operation of the weatherforecasting numerical models. In recent years, whenthe technology of those radiosondes changed fromolder navigation systems to global positioningsatellites, their prices doubled. Almost immediatelymany developing countries decreased by half thenumber of radiosonde flights that they wereperforming. The price of acquisition and maintenanceof modern substitute technology has not come downenough to convince governments to replace the oldertechnology. The result of having betterhydrometeorological monitoring networks will benefitthe whole world, but for obvious reasons this willhappen only if local efforts are increased.Monitoring should not restrict itself to thehydrometeorological factors, but also include theconsequences thereof, e.g. glacier and snow melt andthe resulting impact on reservoirs.All information should be communicated freely amongall organizations and countries concerned.Adequate transfer of new technologicaldevelopments and knowledge dissemination, inparticular to the Least Developed Countries, isurgently needed.Early WarningIn order to improve cooperation and avoid conflicts,an open and transparent communication mechanismamong all stakeholders is a pre-requisite. Relevantdata and information on hydrological variability andtrends need to be made available to all stakeholders,in order to bring them to the same level ofawareness; water-related data and information,particularly related to water hazards, should beclassified as a “public good”.Continuous monitoring also helps in forecasting thehazardous situations that could develop over a certainlead-time. A warning means that the hazard is now areality and that people have to react. The longer thelead-time, the more useful the warning, since thenumber of options for reaction is larger. The reliabilityof the warning and the confidence that it carries withthe likely respondents is an important aspect thatdetermines its effectiveness. Warnings must be1634th World Water Forum


1644th World Water Forumunderstood by all persons, including women andchildren and affected persons must know how toreact. Thus, early warning occupies a positionbetween education and emergency operations and isvital for many response activities.The success of intervention operations dependsvery much on the available warning systems, theirreliability and the available lead-time. Localexperience in recognising a critical situation is goodfor “normal” events, but for a big and severe event itis possible that natural processes change their usual"behaviour". Then, outside help by regional, nationalor international specialised institutions is necessary.As the recent tragedy caused by the tsunami in Southand Southeast Asia demonstrated, local knowledgecannot foresee new and very rare processes, andadequate reaction may therefore not be possible. Thefrequency of various natural and man-made hazardsvaries from place to place. Responses andpreparedness to different hazards would varydepending on the frequency of a particular hazard.Hence, a holistic and integrated emergency warningand response system with well-defined duties andobligations, based on an appropriate legal framework,is most effective.Emergency operationsEmergency operations must be adapted to the type,likely extent and impact of the hazard. The necessaryoperations to rescue and shelter persons, providethem with food, water and medical care are ratherindependent of the type of disaster. But the logisticalpreparations, such as assessing the needs of affectedpeople, the type of health risks created, andallocating safe places and access, depend on the typeof hazard, local knowledge and lead-time. A wellpreparedevacuation system will make the mosteffective use of early warnings. Regular training fordifferent scenarios should form part of anyemergency planning.Insurance and solidarity fundsOnce the disaster is over, survivors have often lost alltheir assets and must restart their lives from scratch.Sharing the risks among those at risk and externallytransferring it to those not directly affected areavailable options to meet the needs of financialresources for reconstruction. In poor societies thismoney generally comes from the government (sharedby all tax-payers), or donations from private, nationalor international organisations as a gesture ofhumanitarian solidarity. Microfinance can provide avaluable alternative to insurance at the poorhousehold level and community level by helping poorhouseholds to diversify their income and multiplyincome-earning opportunities, thereby enabling themto better cope with disasters. In a well-developedeconomy, insurance is a viable option. Any systemmust carefully look that there is not an unjustifiedrisk transfer. By allocating help too generously orhaving too liberal insurance conditions, people maybecome careless and take the profit privately, leavingthe risk to the public. Whatever the solution, it is oneof the basic obligations of the community to enablethe victims a dignified survival after the disaster.C. ResponseInterventionIn case of a natural disaster, it is important tominimize the extent of damage and particularly theloss of lives as soon as possible by a rapid alert, andprofessional and fast rescue response mechanisms.


Immediate measures such as evacuating endangeredpeople, providing basic necessities such as food, cleanwater and medical services and keeping the essentialservices running, can further limit damage. A multihazardapproach taken already during the planningphase becomes useful here, as the logistics and theexperience related to other hazards than the waterrelatedones described further, are also relevant forevacuation schemes. Due to the immediate need forthese measures, it is a sensible approach to foster localactivities, which could help reduce the delay time andcould provide a better understanding of local needs.It is only when a community is unable to copewith the extent of impact or complexity of a situation,that external assistance from the internationalcommunity is generally sought. Various UN Agencies,IGOs and NGOs at national and international levelprovide such emergency assistance when requested bythe concerned national governments. Recentexperiences have indicated that there is need toimprove this international disaster responsemechanism. At the same time, disaster relief workshould be based on ethics and accountability, with dueconsideration to the strength and dignity of crisisaffectedindividuals.RescueThe very first action to take in a case of naturaldisaster is to rescue people and to provide medicalattention to the injured. Fatalities occur when theevent is not recognised as dangerous, when time is tooshort to reach a safe place or when a place is believedto be safe but is not. If sufficient lead-time isavailable, in developed countries sufficient technicalmeans are available to save lives. However, theserescue means are lacking in most developing countries.This deficiency can be partially compensated by goodevacuation plans.Victim careIn the aftermath of a disaster, safe shelter, safedrinking water and sanitation and food are necessaryto enable the survival of those who could be rescuedfrom the immediate impact of the event. Outbreak ofepidemic diseases can cause even greater losses oflives than the event itself, if health care is insufficient.Once again, a strong difference in the coping capacityof developed and developing countries can beobserved. The gender aspect can from a non-negligiblepart of trauma care, since gender inequality cancomplicate and extend the time for recovery, especiallywhen this care is not received in a timely manner.Immediate measures to limit the extentDuring or after a disaster it is vital to prevent awidening of the affected area. Trying to limit theextent of a natural disaster is not restricted to controlthe natural processes but consists of evacuatingpeople and saving material assets, for example byvacating cellars and underground car parks which arelikely to be flooded. Objects and valuable things thatmight be damaged have to be evacuated.1654th World Water Forum


1664th World Water ForumReconditionRepair of lifelinesIn case of emergency, vital facilities, equipment andcommunications have to be repaired as soon aspossible. In the first instance this includes the«lifelines» such as water supply, electricity supply,roads and telecommunications, hospitals and sewagesystems. Naturally, this can mean provisional repair.Recondition often exceeds local capacities, since timeis an important factor, once again making externalsupport a necessity.Evaluating and documenting the disasterTo improve prevention and preparedness, it is essentialto analyse past disasters. It is important that damageanalysis starts even before clearing-up operations,when the traces of processes are still visible. Theearlier started, the better the documentation will be;and the results of lessons learnt can already beincluded in the reconstruction phase. Besidesdocumenting the disaster, it is necessary to documentrescue operations, to optimise future operations. Sincelocal authorities are usually occupied with the moreurgent repair works, external experts, who can bettercompare to similar events elsewhere, can be asked tocarry out the analysis. External specialists can collectdata needed for further research, but they need thehelp from and the information about persons affectedthrough the participation of local personnel.Analysing vulnerabilityIt is important to analyse the causes and extent of thevulnerability of various elements affected during thedisaster. Sometimes, small construction deficits orminor failures in the rescue chain are responsible forlosses of lives or serious damages. In order to find outcauses, it is important that the various impact factorsare known, such as wind speed, height of flood orforce of the dynamic impact.D. RecoveryReconstructionThere is a tendency to reconstruct the status quo ante,which means in many cases that the same errors arerepeated. During the recovery process, provisionalsolutions are being turned into lasting, definitivesolutions. Reconstruction is the great chance to reducevulnerability at little or no extra cost. This phase is aparticular challenge to the responsible local authoritiessince a reconstruction, which leads to a higher andmore sustainable safety level, needs planning time inthe face of urgent needs of the affected persons. Thereconstruction phase should gradually pass over to thedevelopment of definitive prevention works. In thissense also, the resilience building previously mentionedwill need to start already in the reconstruction phaseto ensure sustainability in the risk management cycle.At least in the aftermath of any disaster, thereshould be a re-evaluation of the standards used for theprotection and mitigation measures. In the first phaseof reconstruction, only objects for which the situationis clear should be rebuilt according to the neweststandards (no regret reconstruction). This implies awaiting period for the structures close to the river orany other hazard source, since these areas might beneeded for preventive protection works. If timepressure is too high, solutions which do notpredetermine final solutions, should be selected, forexample in the choice of materials, like selectingstones instead of concrete walls for bank protection.Definitive construction permits, therefore, should onlybe given after hazard and damage analysis. Authoritieshave to face great pressure in such situations.There is need for greater research and technologicalinputs and innovations in this phase, all of which callfor coordinated international efforts.


3. WATER RELATEDHAZARDSThe above principles of risk management can beapplied for all risks. Preparedness, response andrecovery require a sound knowledge of hazards. Thefollowing section briefly describes some peculiarities ofthe different water-related hazards. The key factors forrisk management are time, extent of the impact andcoping capacity of the society concerned. Strategies tominimize risks therefore will vary considerablyaccording to the type of hazard and the society. Riskmanagement is a choice among options and thepoorest societies have few, if any, options.A. Climate change or population development?The way the media have been dealing with this topicentails the risk of oversimplifying reality and assigningall or most of the blame of future increase in risk toglobal climate change. It is quite clear that, whileglobal climate change can actually modify thefrequency of hazards and the hydrological cycle, itaffects to a much lesser degree both “exposure” and“vulnerability”; the latter being influenced essentiallyby the expansion of world population anddevelopmental activities in the areas of high risk.Responsibility for climatic change is global, whereasresponsibility for exposure and vulnerability is local.Therefore, on one hand, it is very convenient for localauthorities to assign responsibility to the “global”climate change, while on the other hand, scientistswant to underline its importance to justify theirresearch. Consequently, the direct link between climatechange and increase of disasters is often presented asa fact. The links between hazard, exposure andvulnerability should be discussed in a balanced way,avoiding statements, which have not yet beenscientifically proven, favouring instead statements thatare grounded in solid and believable data.A correct weight should be assigned to each riskfactor. In particular, the pros and the cons of changingor reducing vulnerability or exposure must beevaluated. These are in the decision domain of localauthorities, but the same authorities are alsoresponsible for the economic survival of their region.The decision may be that it is better to live in a riskpronearea than not to have any place to live at all.Any mitigation strategy therefore must consider boththe risk and the chance of development.Even under present climatic conditions, the normalhydrologic variation poses challenges to the design ofvarious intervention measures. The precautionaryprinciple requires taking the expected climatic changesinto account. But the challenge for design is how totake into account the future and uncertain changes inthe hydrological system, i.e. how to ensure thatdevelopment plans, including designs, are “climateproof.” While awaiting the development of tools for“climate proofing”, the following two principles couldbe followed:A) Apply “no regret” measures. As an example, forflood control measures some German countiespropose to raise the level of the 100 years designflood by 15%. One can regard this additionalsafety margin as a “no regret” measure, sinceregardless of the climate change, the potentialdamage is increasing and a higher safety level isadvantageous in any case. Obviously, higherprotection levels are bound to higher buildingcosts, which may refrain countries with a morelimited budget to opt for this kind of measures.Another approach is applied in Switzerland: toaccount for the possibility of more extreme events,the protection effect is investigated also for an1674th World Water Forum


1684th World Water Forumevent considerably larger than the design event. Ifthe damage remains acceptable, it is considered asa sign that the protection is sufficiently flexible tocope with future extreme events. Again the “noregret” principle is guiding this policy, since ahigher flood may also occur under present climaticconditions.B) Avoid “non reversible” measures. An example fromland use planning is that, while the location of asettlement cannot be changed, the location ofleisure activities requires continuous updating.Therefore, possibly endangered areas should beused for leisure activities, which can be reallocatedafter, say, 20 years.As another example, hydropower can bereplaced by thermal power generation, butirrigation perimeters are difficult to modify, owingto the low flexibility of the agricultural population,depending on the crops. If a reservoir is createdand the unreliable part of the water resource isused for hydropower and the reliable part forirrigation, the relation can be shifted according tothe climatic development.Impact assessments, vulnerability assessments andcoping measures are required for the preparation ofAdaptation Framework Measures (AFM) at national orbasin level. Currently, few countries or basins havedeveloped AFMs. But, the National Adaptation Plans ofAction (NAPAs) being prepared under the UnitedNations Framework Convention on Climate Change(UNFCCC) should provide a catalyst for AFMdevelopment, in particular because many of the NAPAsdo identify water-related risks as a high priority to beaddressed. The link of the NAPAs to the IWRM plansand to risk management strategies need to beestablished.B. DroughtsDrought is a recurrent natural feature, which resultsfrom the lack of precipitation over an extended periodof time (e.g. a season or several years). It is atemporary deviation of rainfall and moisture conditionsfrom the mean, thus differing from aridity andseasonal aridity. It is a creeping phenomenon and,unlike other hazards, lasts for months or in severecases for years. Depending on the likely impact, thephenomenon can be categorised in several ways, suchas meteorological, hydrological and agricultural.Storage capacity of the soils and underground aquifersmay delay the effects of absence of rainfall. However,if the lack of precipitation continues, these storagepossibilities will be exhausted. The spatial extent ofdrought is much greater than for any other hazard,and is not limited to basin or political boundaries. Itsimpact is difficult to quantify and accumulates overyears and varies according to the society and theregions concerned. Long lasting droughts lead todegradation of soils, plant and animal habitats andsocial disruption.All the drought-planning strategies should:- have a clear objective and purpose,- involve multi-stakeholder participation,- have a good inventory of resources,- identify groups at risk,- be able to integrate science and technology withpolicy,- publicize the proposed plan and invite publicresponses, and- have an appropriate education programme.


The need for the evacuation of livestock, ifapplicable, should also be assessed. An institutionalstructure with an enabling policy framework shouldbe in place in a country to monitor the impact ofdroughts and to take alleviation measures against itsimpacts. Preparedness through a good organizationalstructure incorporates better information flow andcoordination between various levels in agovernmental or other type of set-up. In thisdirection, some countries have enacted specific actsand legislation and set up National DroughtCommissions.Resilience policiesFor building resilience, a given locality or nation hasto adopt medium and long-term measures. Themedium-term measures, that have essentially to betaken up at local level, may include:- rainwater harvesting and watershed management,- artificial recharge of groundwater,- watershed development,- agro-climatic regional planning,- comprehensive water saving schemes such asdeficit irrigation, sprinkler and micro irrigation,- conception of appropriate cropping patterns,- making conjunctive use of surface andgroundwater,- prevention of evaporation losses from reservoirs,- use of sub-optimal quality water for agriculturaland other uses, and- development of consciousness among peopleabout the scarcity of water.Most of these measures are to be taken at locallevels and call for tying up with the long-termnational and regional policies. The long-termmeasures would normally include the creation ofground and surface water storages, the integration ofsmall reservoirs with major reservoirs, an integratedbasin planning, inter-basin transfers of water, etc.Long-term adaptation involves the development ofcommunity-based natural resources managementplans, developed and implemented through aparticipatory approach, and making full use oftraditional knowledge. For example, a variety of cropsreduces vulnerability against droughts and traditionalcrops are often more resistant to drought, whencompared to many cash crops. Regional cooperationis absolutely necessary since it is the same commonresources (water, markets and finance), which mustbe managed.Early warning systemsA drought preparedness and mitigation plan shouldbe able to ensure reasonably good prediction,monitoring, impact assessment, and prompt response.Water saving programmes have to start long beforethe resource is exhausted and cropping patternsshould be adapted to the critical situation, whichrequires an early warning and seasonal forecast.The technological part of early warning systemsfor drought and famine, namely data collection,analysis, prediction and dissemination, is welladvanced and continues to improve. Scientificcooperation, e.g. through El Niño monitoring, canfurther improve the early warning capabilities at theinternational level. However, weaknesses abound inthe areas of appropriate packaging of the informationfor targeted end-users, coordination mechanisms toensure the information reaches targets, andimplementation of appropriate and targetedinterventions. Public awareness raising and educationabout the risk of drought and desertification improvethe acceptance of the information concerningpreparedness, by strengthening people’s capability tounderstand and interpret information on risks.Emergency operationsThe large extent of a drought-struck area makes itdifficult to meet the water needs of the large numberof persons affected. However, appropriate foodpolicies and governance mechanisms to delivernecessary provisions to the concerned areas can makethe emergency operations effective. Some measuresthat can be effective in disaster impact mitigationare:- transport of water for drinking purposes,- close monitoring of groundwater levels and- permitting temporary mining of groundwater fordrinking water purposes.Often the population has a tendency to move outsideof their traditional areas. It is better to provide foodand livelihoods within their territories through1694th World Water Forum


1704th World Water Forumexecution of labour-oriented schemes andimplementation of related developmental works. Helpin case of severe droughts is often an internationaltask and exceeds the capacities of local and regionalorganisations.C. Floods and other excess of waterFloods cause loss of life and damage to property, butalso replenish wetlands, fisheries and irrigationsystems. Flood plains have an important developmentpotential, their proximity to rivers guaranteeing richsoils, abundant water supplies and means oftransport. They therefore constitute a preferred areafor human settlements and economic activities.However, due to this increasing development in floodplains, flood damages are continuously rising. Floodplain management, therefore, should be based on riskmanagement principles.Damage due to flooding can be described as aresult of a chain of interactions as seen in Figure 5.Floods result from an excessive rainfall and/orsnowfall process or reduction in conveyance due tosiltation, ice jams or inadequate waterways in crossdrainageworks. There is a certain balance betweenthe landscape, the geology and the climate. Anyexcess of water spills out of the normal channel,flooding the adjoining areas. It mobilizes bed loadand reshapes the river and the surroundinglandscape. These floods and natural changes of thelandscape sometimes also affect the economicinfrastructure causing damages.Any change in the meteorological inputs or thecharacteristics of the catchment area is likely toaffect the hydrologic hazard. The damage due to thishazard depends on the exposure of the economicactivity to the risk of inundation and the vulnerabilityof the activity to flooding. Any flood managementapproach should address all types of interventions inan integrated manner considering the catchment as aplanning unit. The Integrated Flood Management(IFM) approach is one such option. Emergencyplanning can in turn reduce the loss of human livesas well as economic damage. Depending on the typeof floods, the specific measures may have distinctivecharacteristics as discussed below.Mountain and flash floodsMountain flash floods are characterized by highdynamics and short duration. The causes will vary fromheavy rainfall to the accumulation of ice in theriverbed and its subsequent melting. It is the energy ofthe flowing waters (and ice), which is destructive. TheFigure 5: Damage as a result of a chain of interactionsDamage is a result of a chain of interactionsFlood protection measures Flood plain managementMeteorologyCatchmentareaRetentionin the areaForestation,Retentionbasins,Increase ofinfiltration,...HydrologichazardRiver channelStructuralprotectionmeasuresIncrease ofriver bedcapacity,Dikes, SillsBankprotection,...Risk ofinundationVulnerabilityAppropriateland useRetentionareas,Protection ofsinglestructures,...Influencing damageRisk ofdamageEmergencyplanningEmergencymeasuresForecast,Rescue,TemporarymeasuresDamageSource: ICPR (International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine River)


concerned rivers are usually small but with a greatvariation in discharges and complex hydraulicprocesses, including high sediment transport, riverbederosion and deposition of material. The impact of rocksor wooden debris transported with the floodwatersdestroys houses and property. Even with solidstructural protection the residual risk cannot beneglected, owing to the complexity of the system.In steep terrains the water energy must be broken,which can be achieved by guiding and distributing thewater over the cone of the torrent. Giving space to thewater and appropriate building codes are mitigationpolicies for such extreme events. Canalizing suchstreams result in overflow of debris at the narrowsections, such as bridges. Due to the short time lagbetween rainfall and runoff and the difficulty inpredicting correctly the thunderstorms, advancewarning is difficult.Emergency operations have to be well-prepared andwell-rehearsed because of the small available leadtime,with rescue places within short distances andeasily accessible (e.g. no small creeks to cross).Riverine FloodsRivers can inundate large areas with considerabledepth especially in the alluvial floodplains. Dynamicforces are a problem only close to local hindrances andin the vicinity of breaching dikes. Rise and fall ofwater levels lasts several days to weeks depending onthe topography and the drainage conditions. Thesituation becomes critical at the confluence of rivers,especially when the receiving stream is also in highflood. Combined with storm surges or tidal effects,very large deltaic areas are subjected to flooding. Theextent of inundation may be so large that it affectsmobility and communication.In the case of shallow flooding (less then 50 cm),protecting houses and avoiding damages is relativelysimple. The need in such cases, especially inagricultural floodplains, is to adapt to appropriatevarieties of crops that can withstand inundation. Forlarge depths (more than 2m), water proofing of thehouses poses challenges and evacuation becomesnecessary. The communication links in such floodproneareas should be built to flood specifications.The science of flood warning for rivers is welldeveloped, since wave propagation calculation allows areliable forecast for several hours and days. Coupling ofwave propagation models with rainfall-runoff modelsextends the lead-time. Incorporation of rainfall forecastsfurther prolongs the warning times to several days.While for most developed countries sufficient data fromboth hydrologic and topographic surveys (longitudinalprofiles, cross sections and basin topography) areavailable, they are missing for many developingcountries. Particularly the topographic data is whatusually makes it difficult, slow and expensive toimplement basin models (rainfall-runoff and floodtransit), which are at the heart of alert systems. For thisreason, many developing countries can manage to dealonly with large basins that have in them importanthydraulic works, which make it worthwhile to get therequired data. If not for the unavailability of data,modern computer technology would allow to have basinmodels covering the entirety of a country and 100% ofits streams and rivers. A strong effort has to be made inthe area of efficiently and economically obtaining thesedata, other than through traditional (manualtopographic) methods, which are unreasonablyexpensive. The potential of satellite and/or airbornemethods using images, laser altimetry or functionalequivalents has to be further explored for developing1714th World Water Forum


1724th World Water Forumcountries. Technical support should be provided fromdeveloped countries in these specific technologies.Emergency operations can be planned on the basisof available lead-times. In particular, lifelines must beprotected. The long duration of inundation and thelarge number of affected persons can lead to healthproblems and epidemic diseases, particularly in tropicalclimates, and this spread has to be guarded against.Integrated pragmatic actions on transboundaryriver basins for managing the extreme water hazardscall for sharing of all data and information andappropriate institutional arrangements with duerespect to cultural, economic and geographicaldiversity. Appropriate international legal regimes forcooperation at transboundary levels regarding freeinformation and data exchange for extreme events,should be put in place.Urban FloodingUrbanisation has multi-faceted effects on thehydrology of a river basin. Catchment urbanisation,especially in relatively small catchments, causes a risein surface runoff volumes and peak flows. Evergrowingurbanisation in deltaic cities has caused landsubsidence due to groundwater withdrawals, thusincreasing the flood hazard in these areas.Urban flood management focuses around thedesign of drainage systems and the way they areimpacted by the infrastructure development. Land-useregulation, flood proofing of various structures andflood forecasting and warning, followed by appropriatecommunity-based disaster response, are essentialelements of urban flood management, and importantaspects of urban spatial planning. This requires asound legal basis, including the adequate regulation,the supervision and the reliable enforcement of policy.Flood hazard maps play an important and crucial rolein spatial planning as well as in rescue operations.Mechanisms for increasing the capacity ofcommunities to mitigate the effects of flooding needto be strengthened.Flood insurance provides one recovery mechanism,where the risks can be shared. However, this optiondoes not apply in most developing countries, wheresettlement in urban floodplains is often under theinformal sector and the population consists mostly ofmigrants from rural areas who have little perception ofrisk and, even if they have, they lack the means toavoid it.Coastal FloodingCoastal flooding is caused by either storm surges ortsunamis. Although the origins of tsunamis and stormsurges are quite different, their effects and destructivecapacities are comparable. Storm surges are generatedby cyclonic conditions and are accompanied by strongwinds, wave actions and high rains. The conditionsgenerate over time and can be monitored. Their effectis accentuated when they are combined with highastronomic tides. One of the most dramatic stormsurges occurred in 1970 in Bangladesh and left300,000 people dead.Tsunamis are generated by earthquakes, whichcreate long fast-moving waves that can pile up toheights of 10 to 20 metres by the time they reach theshoreline. The devastating capacity of a tsunami wastragically demonstrated on 26 December 2004 inSouth and Southeast Asia. Tsunamis are verydangerous, since they hit a coastline without anywarning regardless of the weather conditions.Structural protection against coastal flooding requireshigh and very strong dikes and seawalls, which can be


financed only by some developed countries or forparticular exposed spots.The oceans are sources of a variety of resourcesand provide livelihoods to millions of people in theform of fisheries, communications and transport.Further, the attraction of coastal areas for tourism orhabitation purposes is widely appealing. It is importantthat all these economic activities are undertaken withfull knowledge of the extent of the risks involved. Inview of the large contiguous narrow strip of areaspotentially affected, the best policy is to avoid theflood-risk areas and locate those activities on higherground or in places with a steep continental shelf. Ifbuildings are to be constructed anyway, care should betaken for their foundation, which otherwise might beundermined.Tsunami warning can only be done by a specialisedinternational organisation. For the Pacific region sucha system has been established. Depending on thedistance to the epicentre, the process of landfall of atsunami may take only very few hours. The warningabout areas likely to be affected has, therefore, to bebuilt upon pre-determined scenarios. Warning in caseof storm surges is highly dependent on the forecastingof the movements of tropical cyclones or large stormsystems, which are carried out by all national weatherservices. For storm surges the lead-time is days or atleast several hours.Few possibilities exist, besides rapid evacuation,which is to be essentially based on flood hazard maps.Emergency operations are hindered by the longaffected coastlines, which are often densely populated.Because of the sheer extent of the likely affectedareas, cooperation and coordination among a varietyof disciplines, national and international organizationsand the civil societies is a pre-requisite.Landslides and mudflowsLandslides and mudflows result from the interactionbetween hydrological and geological processes. Thesegeological processes could either be triggered by thehydrological conditions or may occur independently.Landslides and mudflows can be caused by heavyrainfall or snowmelt, when soils get saturated and thestability of the slope is no longer maintained. Theamount and/or intensity of rainfall necessary to triggeran event depends on soil properties and steepness ofthe slopes. Therefore, the general weather and rainfallforecasts have to be transformed into warnings at thelocal level and pre-emptive evacuation plans put intoeffect.Landslides occur only within well-definedgeological and topographic paths. The high density andthe fast movement of the damaging phenomenoncreate a high potential to destroy buildings or otherinfrastructure in its path. Hazard mapping can becarried out to delineate the high-risk areas based onterrain analysis. Often one will make use of traces ofold slides and mudflows for this purpose.Further, the phenomenon is mostly occurring at avery small scale, when compared to riverine or coastalfloods. This and the remoteness of many areas, thatare particularly prone to landslides and mudflows,imply the need for preparedness and responseactivities at a local level.AvalanchesAvalanches are one of the most frequent naturalhazards in high mountains. They are comparable todebris flows, but since the medium is low-densitysnow, they move much faster and can reach velocitiesof up to 300 km/h. They can be triggered by theslightest of disturbances under certain given snowconditions. Different degrees of potential danger canbe derived from the thickness of snow cover, itsstructure and the actual weather conditions, inparticular, snowfall, wind and temperature. The generalalert for a region has to be interpreted by local expertsgiving specific warnings to a valley or a settlement.Closing of roads and evacuation of exposed houses oreven villages is the normal strategy in case of thehighest degree warning. After the event, rapid searchfor missing persons is necessary, since about 50% ofthe victims buried by an avalanche die, if they are notfound within half an hour.1734th World Water Forum


1744th World Water ForumAvalanches have preferred paths and theendangered areas can be outlined through hazardmapping. Structural protection is possible by retentionor deviation: forests traditionally provide theprotection to settlements. The majority of fatalities areskiers, hikers or other persons moving in the areas faraway from roads and settlements. These losses of lifecould be avoided by strictly following the instructionsin case of avalanche alert. As for landslides andmudflows, this hazard has a very local occurrence inmostly remote areas, and thus calls for localpreparedness and response measures.D. Man-made hazardsMan-made hazards can be categorized as intentionalor accidental. Accidents are a continuous threat, sincehumans can never exclude failures from their actions.Unintentional hazards such as gross failure of waterinfrastructure, including dams, embankments or floodgates, endangering life and property, can occur due tolack of knowledge of certain phenomena responsiblefor such failures or due to the occurrence of naturalevents well beyond the design conditions. Other typesof unintentional damage to water infrastructure couldinclude the release of hazardous pollutants into waterresources by leakage or failure of safety systemsresulting from natural hazards such as floods, fires andearthquakes.Technical failuresTo make the best use of water resources or to protectagainst floods, many structures have been built overthe years. Any technical structure or system may fail,creating risks higher than under natural conditions.The disruption of a major irrigation channel may haveconsequences that are worse than those of a naturaldrought, since a system depending on rich watersupply is suddenly left without even a drop of water,giving little space for reaction. A dam failure cancause a flood higher than any natural event.Design of technical systems should not only berestricted to optimum day-to-day operation, but mustalso include risk analysis and prevention measures incase of extraordinary disturbances. For example,according to the safety regulations for large dams ofseveral countries, extreme natural events must beconsidered and an alarm system for the endangereddownstream area must be implemented to provideadvanced warning. Worst scenario emergency planningfor such likely events is essential.For any man-made structure, there is the need forroutine inspections and adequate maintenance duringits lifetime. Another important aspect is not only todevelop the scenarios during planning, but also to planperiodic tests to assure that all the parts involvedknow the procedure and that the communications arestill on place and valid.Water pollutionPrevention of accidental water pollution is essential,from identifying the natural hazards, to assessingthreats to life and property and adopting correctivemeasures. These range from reducing such threatsthrough structural and regulatory means, to makingthe right decisions on land-use planning and design.One of the prime preventive measures against this kindof pollution is a strong legal framework governingsafety, supported by preventive planning anddevelopment of emergency plans with the effectiveparticipation of all stakeholders.One of the most spectacular pollution accidentshappened in 1986 in Basel, Switzerland, when great


175quantities of chemicals were flushed into the RhineRiver, due to a fire in a chemical factory. As aconsequence, regulations for storage and handling ofdangerous chemicals were developed.Developing and implementing strict regulations andkeeping track of quantities and types of chemicalsstored or manufactured is necessary. Redundant safetysystems should be created at places where frequentmanipulations of dangerous materials take place.Monitoring systems at factory outlets and at the mainwatercourses enable early detection of any leakage.Emergency operations depend on the type of pollution,the reason why tracking of the type of chemicals isimportant. The aftermath of the spilling of 100 tonnesof benzene in the Songhua River in China in November2005, as one of the latest severe events of waterpollution (leaving nearly 4 million people temporarilyout of water), will call for some preventive measures inthis sense.4th World Water Forum


4. WATER ETHICS1764th World Water ForumA. EthicsAs water is essential to all life forms, respecting thewater rights of both human and other living beings isessential. Since nature provides water free of chargeand sometimes even in abundant quantities, peopletend to use it carelessly. Greed and egoism lead toconflicts and even disasters. Therefore, developing andrespecting water ethics becomes a key element ofsuccessful implementation of integrated andsustainable water resources management. Differentethical values in different cultural groups need to berespected. Principles of the Universal Declaration ofHuman Rights can form the starting point. The conceptof water as an economic good gave rise to seriousconcerns in certain societies. Traditional approaches aswell as new technological solutions need to be givendue importance. Cross-subsidising of costs of waterfacilities or disaster mitigation measures between richand poor sections of society is known to exist sincethe times of early civilisation and should continue tobe used as an important parameter in water-relateddecision-making. Protection of water infrastructurefrom all types of deliberate violent actions, includingthose that affect the quality of water, could, forexample, form part of the Geneva Convention.Since absolute safety against risks cannot beachieved, one basic question is: how far shall the effortsgo to protect a community? While calculating thedamages in absolute economic terms, cultural, ethicaland emotional factors are often ignored. A bamboo huthas little economic value, but may be the only shelter ofa family. To understand the ethical criteria, theformulation the utilitarian philosopher Peter Singermade, after seeing people dying in East Bengal fromlack of food, shelter, and medical care in November1971, could be applied:“If it is within our power to prevent something badfrom happening, without thereby sacrificinganything of comparable moral importance, weought to do it.”This means that we have to go beyondeconomically justified limits, if lives, livelihoods andthe essential goods for survival are endangered. Wehave to deal equitably between short-termconcentrated interests and long-term dispersedbeneficiaries.B. Hydro-solidarityIn relation to water resources management, andparticularly when dealing with hazards, hydrosolidarityis of specific concern. There are severalforms and levels of solidarity, which must beconsidered.Basin SolidarityWithin a given river basin, there are regions that willbe poorer and others that will be richer in waterresources. Water for livelihood and other socioculturaluses being transferable, within certaingeographical limits, water resources management hasto be essentially planned on a river basin level.Actions in one part of the basin have impacts on theavailability of water resources and options in anotherpart, and force us to rethink our notions of security,dependence and interdependence. This strengthensthe case for basin solidarity where decisions aretaken with the involvement of all stakeholders.Participation at various levels of decision-making,right from the planning stage, is one of the ways tostrengthen this solidarity. Participation of women,who have the greatest direct interest in provision and


use of water in many countries, has to be facilitated.Capacity building in the skills of negotiation,mediation and conflict management and prevention,is essential. Regional economic solidarity (or politicalsolidarity) may sometimes override the basinsolidarity with decisions to transfer water out of thebasin to meet the needs of contiguous basins orregions.The concept of basin solidarity should further beincluded in repair and maintenance programmes forstructural protection and mitigation measures.Risk solidarityModern society is said to be a risk society, whereevery economic activity is subjected to a certain kindof risk. If a certain section of society is taking agreater risk of a certain kind, it is in a way helpingthose not threatened by such a risk, to pursueeconomic activities in less risk-prone areas by notcompeting for resources in the risk-free areas.Moreover, different areas are exposed to differentkinds of risks and solidarity across different risk zonesprovides an appropriate vehicle for risk sharing.Humanitarian SolidarityThe advent of modern mass communication mediahas strengthened humanitarian solidarity, which cutsacross national and regional boundaries, as witnessedin the aftermath of recent disasters. Various solidaritymechanisms, however, exist in a very loose form andare only partially effective. They should be formalisedand optimised. The human solidarity concept needs tobe kept in mind while deciding who the stakeholdersare in a participatory process.Solidarity with NatureNature provides human beings with resources for theirlivelihood and well-being. Protection of theenvironment is therefore a human ethical obligation.Better integration of ecological values with economicconsiderations has to be developed. Risk to nature isemanating from man-made hazards. Such risks,particularly related to pollution and technical failures,must therefore be minimized. Possible climate change,as a man-made hazard, is already endangering theenvironment at a global scale. Nature has the power toadapt to changing situations; however, this powerdecreases rapidly with decreasing biodiversityresources. Biodiversity should therefore be protected,as a self-survival issue for mankind and, in thiscontext, to prevent economical and social risks.1774th World Water Forum


5. CROSSCUTTING PERSPECTIVES1784th World Water ForumA. Financial aspectsMany times, risks are taken to achieve financial gainsin some form or the other. At the same time, riskmanagement requires appropriate financial resourcesin all phases of the cycle, from preparedness toresponse and recovery. The prevention phase of thecycle attracts financial resources following a disasterunder the pressure of public opinion. However, thepreparation stage, which requires regular funding,struggles to attract sufficient resources, as there areno visible short-term benefits or revenues from suchan investment. It is easier to attract financing for theresponse phase by appealing to humanitarianconsiderations, whereas financial resources forreconstruction, a relatively long-term process, seem todry up as soon as the spotlight is shifted from theevent. The UN Emergency Relief Fund, recentlyupgraded to $ 500 million, should be revitalised andenlarged to address not only immediate financialneeds for rescue and relief in the aftermath ofincreasingly complex natural disasters, but also forlonger term initiatives in the ensuing reconditioningand recovery phases.The international development and financialinstitutions should focus more on disaster riskreduction and move from response topreparedness to risks.It is widely accepted that resources spent onprevention and preparedness are up to eight timesmore effective than those spent on rescue andrecovery. Further, there is a need to create anInternational Disaster Solidarity Fund and similarNational Disaster Solidarity Funds, whenever feasible,to strengthen efforts in reducing disaster risks in anintegrated manner. These funds should lay moreemphasis on preparedness and prevention. Some aidagencies, however, are already reserving certainpercentage of their aid for disaster preventionmeasures.Adequate use should be made of different financialservices, such as insurance, for preparedness and forrehabilitation by providing a financial buffer to enableand complement other adaptation measures. Insuranceproducts, for example, can help people to recover moreswiftly after a disaster shock. Public–privatepartnerships can help with sharing risk and partiallyrelieving public budgets from disaster impacts. Suchpartnerships in risk management can help strengthenresilience in the developing countries wherevulnerability is high.B. Institutional developmentLocal government is the most direct form ofrepresentation for the demands and expectations ofthe public and is, therefore, the most appropriate levelof local action to mitigate risks due to water-related(and other) hazards. However, integrated riskmanagement frequently requires solidarity beyond themunicipalities or local governments, with othermunicipalities or other forms of local governments,spanning over the entire basin and beyond. Theprevention phase of the risk management cyclerequires a multi-disciplinary approach that includesinputs from a variety of institutions and organizationsresponsible for development planning andmanagement in different sectors.Disasters impact life at the local level and as suchhelp is needed locally. On the other hand, the largeresources required to be mobilized are generallyavailable only at national or sometimes at


international level, calling for a distributedresponsibility and a good cooperation between localand central authorities. The response and recoveryphases of the risk management cycle also require closecoordination and unambiguous communication ofinformation from forecasting to warning agencies andemergency response outfits and further down to thegeneral public.In order to give shape to the basin solidarity andeffective management of conflicts, an appropriateinstitutional framework is essential. This might needsome substantial institutional reform in some cases.Similarly, for a coherent and meaningful riskmanagement approach, there is need of a suitablelegal framework to coordinate the efforts of themultitude of agencies and organisations involved. Thekey to success here is not only the sound legal basis,but obviously also its reliable enforcement. Eachagency has to play a role that needs to be pre-definedthrough some kind of legal mechanism that, inunambiguous terms, clearly defines the line ofcommand, the actions and obligations in case ofanticipated and unanticipated situations. Early warningand monitoring of natural phenomena that transcendpolitical boundaries need international coordinationand cooperation.C. Capacity building and social learningMany water managers are unaware of the challengesassociated with climate change and either attach lowpriority to the effects of the growing changes or donot know what to do. This is partly related to the yetlimited scientific understanding of the relationsbetween the ‘drivers’ and their impacts upon thehydrological cycle and water resources, in particular atlocal level. However, downscaling of impactassessments to regional and even local level isprogressing quickly. Yet, despite the uncertainties andlimited understanding, the potential human, economicand environmental impacts are so high that actions tomitigate and to adapt cannot be delayed further. It ishigh time to address the needs of water managersfrom the point of view of building the sector capacityto cope with these emerging hazards and risks.Community-based disaster management, being oneof the pillars of the integrated risk managementapproach, calls for an active involvement of NGOs andother civil society organizations, the public,government and private sector for building resiliencein the society. Implementation of this approachrequires coordinated efforts among variousorganizations, institutions and disciplines at local,regional, national as well as international levels.Presently such coordination mechanisms are eitherabsent or if in place, lack capacities to play aneffective role. There is need to build capacities at alllevels, about the various contributing factors andoptions available for mitigating disaster risks includingclimate change.Capacity development programmes for watermanagers, as well as public awareness raisingprogrammes on risk management are direlywanted.D. Application of science, technology andknowledgeMonitoring, forecasting and early warning play apivotal role in the risk management cycle. Regularmonitoring of elements that constitute water-relatedhazards is crucial during the preparedness, responseand reconstruction phases. Unpredictability of climaticextremes for specific regions and their extent, whichcreate uncertainty for water managers, is the vital gapin the knowledge on climate change, which needs tobe addressed. Latest scientific research should beapplied in monitoring water-related hazards throughappropriate networks of seismological, hydrological,meteorological and marine parameters.There are clear and disturbing indicators thatgovernments around the world, both in developing aswell as in developed countries, are moving away frominvestments in such monitoring networks. Gaps inobservational data, both in time and space, reduce the1794th World Water Forum


1804th World Water Forumglobal capabilities of monitoring, forecasting andwarning of water-related hazards. This is a perfectexample of a global challenge needing local actions.Developments in remote sensing, satellitecommunication and information technology should beused for improving monitoring and developingcomputational models for forecasting and earlywarning of impending hazards. The challenge beforethe international community is to support theseactivities particularly in developing countries, whereresources for such activities are limited.Greater research needs to be directed towardsunderstanding the nature of regional climates, andhydrological regimes, including their variability andpotential for change. Such knowledge is essential inorder to estimate the potential frequency of naturalhazards, and the options for adaptation that areavailable. Early warnings are effective only if theyreach the affected people who have to respond to sucha situation. Science and technology should try to breakthe barrier of financial resources to enable suchwarnings to reach even the remotest corners of theaffected areas.In reality, there are but a handful of countries thatdo not have the technological know-how to implementsome form of water-related risk managementmeasures. So, why are we so far behind in solving theproblem of adequate water related risk management inthe whole world? Here we have again the “local” vs.“global” scale contrast. Most measures have to beimplemented at the local level, with local decisionmaking,local knowledge, and considering localsituations. But at this “ideal” level of action, it is verycommon not to have the scientific and technicalknowledge for adequate water-related riskmanagement. Sometimes, the lack of this knowledgeat the local level is so marked that there is not evenconsciousness of the risk involved in local decisionmaking(unless of course nature has recently remindedus with an extreme event). Availability of scientific andtechnical expertise at the national level does not meanthat problems in this area are being reasonably solvedor even considered throughout a country.Indigenous knowledge on risks, their assessmentand mitigation and adaptability measures, play animportant role in risk reduction and management.There are certainly advantages in considering localknowledge for the management of risk, as it has had inmost cases a long development to which society canadapt very well. However, it is also important to keepin mind its limitations in the wake of rapid changestaking place due to various human activities thatinfluence the very magnitudes of the risks.Furthermore, the pace of the world today might befaster than the evolution of this local knowledge andthe effectiveness or adaptability of it can becomequestionable when applied to modern societies. It istherefore important to build the capacity ofcommunities to be able to adapt themselves tochanging situations and adapt the indigenousknowledge in face of the technological advancestaking place in society and the higher expectations ofbetter living and well being.E. Targeting, monitoring and implementationassessmentThere is need for a practical target and indicator formonitoring the disaster management strategies beingadopted at the national and international levels. Thiscould be in the form of loss of human lives, socioeconomicvalue of damages, or population exposed towater-related risks. As population pressure is likely toincrease on the limited natural resources, man has tocontinue to take higher and higher risks. Economiclosses not being a unique function of theimplementation of risk management strategies, anassessment based only on economic losses would beseverely skewed. Under the circumstances, the numberof lives lost (or rather saved) could form the mostappropriate and relatively simple indicator. A proposalin the form of an “Urgent Appeal” was submitted tothe UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Waterand Sanitation and was endorsed by it. Reduction byhalf of the average number of deaths over ten yearsdue to water-related disasters (or maybe all disasters)during the decade 2006-2015 as compared to theaverage number of deaths during 1991-2000, could bea desirable target.


6. THE PREPARATORY PROCESS AND ITS CONCLUSIONSThe preparatory process for the present documentinitiated in late 2004 when the Beacons for the RiskManagement framework theme were tasked withproducing a Baseline Document which would be usedto set the scene for the discussions on the theme ofRisk Management during the preparatory process ofthe Forum.A consultative process involving UN Organizations,NGOs, Scientific Associations and InternationalCommissions, was conducted via e-mail and withinputs from this extended network of cooperatingpartners a first draft of the baseline document wasdeveloped and posted on the Forum website byFebruary 2005. The general idea for this document wasto set the scope of the framework theme, presentissues on the management of risk of water-relatedhazards and offer alternative approaches to beconsidered and debated at the Forum itself.Throughout the year 2005 and until the very beginningof 2006, there have been numerous and very valuablecontributions from various cooperating partners andexternal experts. The compilation of thesecontributions, as well as the outcomes from the virtualworkshop and from the regional preparatory processeseffectively led to this final thematic document, whichis hoped will be very valuable in providing the Forumparticipants with an appropriate background for thedifferent activities of the Framework Theme RiskManagement.A. The virtual workshopi. Purpose of the virtual workshopUsing the utilities provided on the website of the4th World Water Forum, the beacons of the RiskManagement framework theme organised a virtualworkshop in November and December 2005. On thisvirtual platform the baseline document on theframework theme Risk Management was opened fordiscussion, in order to incorporate in it as wide a viewspectrum as possible, from a geographical, professionaland geopolitical point of view. The comments receivedserved as the basis for the transformation of thebaseline document into this thematic document, whichwill be the reference point for the discussion to takeplace during the Forum related to the theme RiskManagement. The virtual workshop proved to be asuccessful undertaking, having had 55 participants andgenerating comments during the 8 weeks of openingand even further.ii. Findings of the virtual workshop discussionThe scope of the Baseline DocumentThe Baseline Document on Risk Management wasdeveloped to provide background information on theissues related to risks due to hazards associated withwater as part of the preparatory process of the 4thWorld Water Forum. It endeavoured to explain RiskManagement principles in general and to show theapproaches generally adopted worldwide in variousphases of the risk management cycle related to waterrelated hazard risks and was not to serve asrecommendatory document.Risk perceptions are deeply rooted in the social,cultural and religious ethos of a society. At the sametime, risk management measures are closely linked toeconomic conditions. As a result, it is imperative thatthe approaches to deal with, not only the waterrelated, but all risk issues be different in different partsof the world. These are reflected through the inputsfrom the regional consultation process and have, tosome extent, already been reflected in the discussionsduring the Virtual Workshop. But more deliberations1814th World Water Forum


1824th World Water Forumare looked forward to on these aspects during theForum itself with possible region specificrecommendations.There were some comments on the definition of“local”. A clarification of the term “local”, as has beenaddressed in the Baseline Document, would thereforebe appropriate. Local level activity does not essentiallyrefer only to communities and generally cannot belimited to a certain scale. As has been pointed out inthe 4th Forum web site, local action should beconsidered as a process which is not necessarilyindividual, small-scale, insular, or parochial.Specific issues that have been highlighted during thediscussionsA distinction in approaches due to economicdisparities was brought out in the document, bybroadly categorising the approaches relevant fordeveloping and developed countries. It has beenpointed out that the developing countries themselvesrepresent a wide spectrum of socio-economic as wellas cultural ethos and it may not be possible to club allof them together. Evidently, given the very nature ofrisk issues being linked with socio-economicconditions, global and regional initiatives in riskmanagement are relevant in case of large-scaledisasters, particularly in, but not limited to, therehabilitation and reconstruction phases. However, theresponse to emergency situations and preparednesshas to be built around capacities at the lowestadministrative or community level.Assessment of risk and building awareness aboutthese risks was another important issue raised. This isevidently the starting point for initiating a shift inthinking, from a reactive to a proactive approach andfor imbibing the culture of factoring risk managementprinciples in development planning. Spatial planningenforced through adequate regulatory mechanisms hasto play an important role in water hazard riskmanagement. At the same time, it represents one ofthe main challenges of risk management, as it requiressubstantial resources and a multi-disciplinary andmulti-agency coordination and cooperation. There isneed for strengthening the knowledge base on disasterrisk management and create relevant professionalcapacities in concerned institutions. Equally importantis the participation of the communities that are likelyto be affected, for better acceptance and use of suchassessment products such as flood risk maps.This would also help prevent the problem of socialconflicts arising out of shifting of risks, as a result ofcertain mitigation measures or inequitable distributionof resources, during the subsequent recovery phases. Ithas rightly been pointed out that during theemergency situation itself, there is a great amount ofsolidarity among the people.A point that has been specifically emphasised is theneed for an approach to water related hazards risks ata basin level with due consideration to theenvironmental impacts and integrating the twoextremes, floods and droughts, while learning lessonsfrom other risks such as earthquakes, fires etc. Thebasin level flood management plans should incorporateboth short-term and long-term measures withadequate provisions for maintenance of existing floodmanagement measures. The need for appropriatepublic consultations at various planning andimplementation stages of such a risk managementstrategy has been pointed out. This, among others, isparticularly emphasised in the Integrated FloodManagement Approach.The discussions have highlighted the need toreduce vulnerabilities and build community resilience.This resilience has to be fostered in local communities,including the local authorities and the lowestadministrative institutions involved in disastermanagement. At the same time these localcommunities and institutions have to be appropriatelylinked to and supported by national, regional andsometimes international institutions and networks. Itwas again pointed out that the progress towardsbuilding this kind of resilience cannot be viewed inisolation and is a direct function of the prevailingsocial, economic and political conditions.Forecasting and early warning has beenrecognised as one of the important tools for reducingphysical vulnerability of the economic activities at risk.Particularly, the need for incorporating latesttechnological advances in the fields of satelliteobservations, meteorology and hydrology forforecasting and warning, with emphasis oninternational collaboration and due exchange of dataand information on international river basins, has beenemphasized.The current development trends, increase inpopulation and increasing stress on natural resources


are putting more and more people at risk due to theinherent increasing social and economic vulnerability,particularly of the weaker sections of society. There isneed for political commitments at all levels in linewith the Hyogo Declaration.There have been suggestions that the originalBaseline Document be revised, incorporating thesecomments and contributions. A new version as suchwas not envisaged under the process, but all thecomments have served as valuable contributions to thefinal Thematic Document.B. The regional inputsi. AFRICADevelopment of Disaster Risk Reduction Strategiesfor the RegionThe most common natural disasters in Africa aredrought, floods, cyclones, food shortage and pestinfestations. Droughts are endemic in both, southernAfrica and the Sahelian region of western andnorthern Africa, and are the most deadly naturaldisaster. They account for over three-quarters of thoseaffected by natural disasters and 98% of theirmortality. During the past ten years, three-quarters ofthe droughts in the world have occurred in Africa. It isa condition of life for many residents of Africa,especially those of the Greater Horn region. Countriesin Africa reporting the highest frequency of droughtinclude Ethiopia, Chad, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Kenya,Mozambique and Mauritania.But much of Africa is also vulnerable to flooding.Floods are the most prevalent disaster in North Africa,the second most common in east, south and centralAfrica, and the third most common in West Africa.Flood episodes accounted for 26% of total disasteroccurrences in Africa from 1971 to 2001.Clearly the increased impact of disasters is one ofthe major factor holding back poverty reduction andsocio-economic development on the continent. In thepast couple of years, the African Union Commission(AUC) and the NEPAD Secretariats, with the support ofUN/ISDR Africa, assumed leadership to initiate andundertake consultations aimed at addressing disasterrisk reduction on the continent. The process resulted inthe development of an Africa Regional Strategy forDisaster Risk Reduction whose aim is to addressdisaster risk reduction through its incorporation indevelopment policy and activities. The strategy wasadopted by the African Ministerial Conference on theEnvironment (AMCEN) in June 2004 and was alsopositively received by the Heads of State in July 2004.Following this, a regional programme of action hasbeen developed, the ECOWAS Secretariat is developinga common policy to facilitate a holistic approach todisaster risk reduction in West Africa and the IGADSecretariat is developing a training manual tofacilitate capacity building of its Member States indisaster risk reduction. Furthermore, fourteen countriesin Africa have already developed national platforms,with representation from all major line ministries,aiming at addressing disaster risk reduction indevelopment processes. To cite a few: the Kenyanational platform has integrated disaster risk reductionin its national policy; Uganda has added disastermanagement as a pillar of sustainable development;the Madagascar national platform has carried outdisaster risk management training in the 11 regions ofthe country; Senegal national platform is active onpolicy issues; and the national platform of Djibouti hasmade it possible to develop its first national strategyon disaster risk reduction since independence.Data collection and transformationIn view of the inadequacy of hydrological stations inAfrica, the WMO has developed components of theWorld Hydrological Cycle Observing System (WHYCOS)for Africa. The System is composed of regional projectscalled Hydrological Cycle Observing System (HYCOS)and three of them, namely the Niger-HYCOS, theVolta-HYCOS and the SADC-HYCOS are currentlyoperational in Africa. Other similar projects, IGAD-HYCOS and Lake Tchad-HYCOS, are being implementedand for the Nile a HYCOS project is under preparation.The main areas of interest are: real-time datacollection/transmission, technology transfer andInternet oriented outputs. The successfulimplementation of the HYCOS projects in Africa willaid research and development of the field of hydrology.1834th World Water Forum


Local actions exhibiting innovative risk management• The Iullemeden is a trans-boundary groundwatermulti-aquifer basin shared by Mali, Niger, Nigeriaand Algeria. The equitable exploitation of theaquifer is compounded by high policy and scientificuncertainty. Risk Management in the Iullemedenaquifer in North West Africa shows that conflictscan be minimized and cooperation among countriescan be promoted by undertaking joint riskmanagement through a common consultativemechanism, whereby stakeholders identify andformulate a common perspective, address theenvironmental risks and share the consequentialsocio-economic costs.• The City of Tunis, with a population of more than2.7 million, was recently flooded by quantities ofrunoff coming from the upper parts of catchmentbasins. A project was designed using stormdrainage management models and GIS software tosolve the problems using as a base the Septemberand October 2003 floods in Tunis which resulted inlosses of lives and property when water levels roseup to 4 meters above street levels in parts of thecity. The technology used in the design can be usedin basins with similar conditions in the Region.ii. THE AMERICAS1844th World Water Forum• A large number of people are vulnerable to theeffects of floods. The local action Contribution toFlood Monitoring and Adaptation Strategies inZimbabwe shows how review and improvement ofevacuation procedures and engineering standardsto adapt to expected flood eventualities wouldreduce the impact of floods on human livelihoods,loss to infrastructure and property.• The Kitui District of Kenya faces extreme droughts.With the assistance of NGOs communitiesconstructed low cost sand dams to store waterwithin an artificial sand aquifer that is createdbehind the dam. These activities have resulted inreducing the effects of extreme droughts and havedemonstrated, that to some extent, droughts canbe mitigated without heavy infrastructureinvestments.• The inner delta of the Niger in Mali is an importantecosystem with many livelihood activities affectedby variations in water resources related to theflooding of the Niger and the Bani rivers. The localaction “the Flood forecasting System for IntegratedNatural Resources Management in the Niger InnerDelta in Mali” describes how the flood forecastingsystem, which has been created, has resulted in theimproved sharing of information, creation ofconsensus among stakeholders and techniciansinvolved in the management of the delta, improvedmanagement of irrigation activities and improvedplanning of fisheries.Over the past three decades, while the number ofextreme natural events encountered by developedand developing countries has roughly been the same,three-quarters of the disasters and 99% of thehuman casualties have been in developing countries.In the Caribbean region this has meant an increase ineconomic losses and donor fatigue. The process bywhich a country learns to minimize the impact ofnatural hazard events is developed incrementally overtime. Like other learning processes, the rate ofimprovement can be accelerated by taking advantageof the know-how and best practice techniquesdeveloped elsewhere and by adapting the methodsused in other countries.By the end of the last decade, InternationalFinancing Institutions (IFIs) in the region had madesignificant public statements linking disaster lossesand existing vulnerability to development practices,


and to the need for risk management. The earlier inthe development process that natural hazard riskmitigation options are considered, the more likely anacceptable level of risk will be achieved. Naturalhazard risk mitigation must be seen in the context ofthe process of development, not as an adjunct actionto be applied once development decisions are made.Mitigation must be considered before preparing forand responding to expected or unexpected losses andthe resulting emergency. It must go beyond sectorstrategies for providing financial assistance in case ofcatastrophic loss and address the root causes of thevulnerability. Each development action must be seenas an opportunity to mitigate against possible lossesto natural hazard events.Poverty alleviation has emerged as the principaldevelopment problem to be addressed, therelationship of the poor to disaster reduction hasbeen marked by:• a lack of understanding of the relationship of thevulnerability of the poor to natural hazards and toother threatening circumstances;• a lack of recognition that physical and economicrisk management may have more to do withpoverty alleviation than financial riskmanagement; and• the ever emerging realization that the poor willneed assistance, including subsidies.FloodsThe cause of floods in the region is as varied as theregion itself. They can be of climatic origin, such asspring thawing of accumulated snow, the El NiñoSouthern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon, or severeweather conditions due to the Inter-TropicalConvergence Zone (ITCZ). They can also be caused byfrontal storms, tropical storms and hurricanes. Thecoastal areas are also vulnerable to tsunamis.These events have caused great socioeconomicimpacts in the region. Much of the decline in Peru'sGDP in the early 1980s has been attributed to ElNiño, with negative growth rates of 0.6% and 11% in1982 and 1983, respectively. Much of the 1997-1998 decline in GDP (a decrease of about 0.6%) wasalso attributed to an intense El Niño event. Anotherexample is the Mitch phenomenon, which clearlyillustrates the impact of natural disasters in CentralAmerica. Between 1992 and 1998, Central Americaexperienced an annual growth rate of 4.3%. BeforeMitch, projections indicated an annual GNP growthof 4.8% for the period 1999-2003, thus allowing theregion to recuperate, by 2004, the per capita GNP ithad in 1978, before the Latin American recessionknown as the “lost decade” (1980s). However,according to estimates, Mitch caused the region todelay this recuperation a further three years.Damages caused by Mitch in Central America wereestimated at US$ 6 billion in 1998, equivalent to16% of the GNP for that year, 66% of the value of itsexports, 96.5% of the value of its gross capitalformation, and 37.2% of the total external debt.In Grenada, more recently, Hurricane Ivandestroyed practically 90% of the housing stock inSeptember 2004. Prior to hurricane Ivan, theeconomy was projected to grow by 4.7% in 2004 andat an average rate of 5.0% between 2005 and 2007.The fiscal operations of Central Government wereestimated to result in a current account surplus ofUS$ 17million or 1.3% of GDP. With the passage ofHurricane Ivan, economic activity was projected todecline in 2004 with an overall impact of sixpercentage points of GDP growth, reflecting acontraction in tourism and the halt in production oftraditional crops. In the following year, the economyis projected to remain stagnant as the tourism andagricultural industries continue to be weak.NOAA states that the USA has sustained 62weather-related disasters during the 1980-2004period in which overall damages exceeded US$ 1billion at the time of the events. Fifty-three of theseoccurred after 1988 and seven occurred in 1998alone. The total normalized losses in 2002 from these62 events are over US$ 390 billion. The AmericanGeophysical Union (AGU) states that on average,natural hazards result in annual losses in the USA(crop and property) exceeding US$ 7.6 billion(adjusted to 2004 dollars), and that weather-relatedevents produce more dollar damages than any otherhazards. The AGU also shows that losses from naturalhazards in the USA have been increasing exponentiallysince 1960 and that the decadal annual mean lossalso has been increasing, peaking at US$ 14.4 billion(adjusted to 2004 dollars) in the 1990s. With onlyfour years of data for the present decade (data from2004 and 2005 still in process), it appears that it will1854th World Water Forum


1864th World Water Forumsurpass the 1990s annual loss, which has been notonly the most costly, but also the most deadly (morethan 5,200 fatalities).The effects of disasters like Mitch and Ivan willlast for ten years, according to some estimates.Among the long-term impacts are the destruction ofeconomic and social infrastructure, environmentalchange, external imbalances, extraordinary fiscalimbalances, inflationary processes, and negativeincome redistribution.Several countries have organized civil protectionsystems, like FEMA in the USA and those in Mexico,Argentina, and Central America. However, accordingto studies by the World Bank, WMO, and IDB, fewcountries in Latin America and the Caribbean havethe necessary capacity in terms of trained personneland equipment to make reliable short to mediumterm forecasts, due to financial constraints. In somecases, international aid after a major disaster hasfinanced the installation of state-of-the-artforecasting and early warning systems, but thefinancial constraints of local governments to providefor operation and maintenance of such systems, havemade them unsustainable. Response measures forsuch disasters are also very weak and lacking humanand financial resources. Sometimes in the region,even if the forecasts are good and timely, theresponse capacity is not always at par. There is stillmuch room for improvement regarding the capacityto translate the early warnings and forecasts intoeffective preventive measures and to give protectionand assistance to the civil population once a disasterhas occurred.The preventive and protective measures tried inthe region after the major disasters that occurred inthe 1990s have been varied. They have spanned fromthe traditional structural and non-structuralmeasures, to mechanisms of risk transfer byinsurance and the creation of Emergency Funds.Technical plans that anticipate and lower the risks ofhurricanes, flooding and other events have been inplacefor sometime. These range from increasinghazard mapping and aligning the results offorecasting with better land management and zoningpractices; adopting flood management plans that arepart and parcel with overall river basin andwatershed catchments management plans; adoptingrelevant building standards and construction codescovering both public buildings such as hospitals,schools, government buildings, universities, ports andtransmissions lines, as well as private housingstandards, and crucially, ensuring that those codesare effectively enforced through a range of goodgovernance practices. Indeed, good governance is akey aspect to integrating risk mitigation policies.The effectiveness and efficiency of these measuresis difficult to evaluate, due to the variability andrandomness of the natural phenomena. It is alsorecognized that in a given period of time, thecumulative effect in transport infrastructure,agriculture, and the economy in general of periodicannual phenomena, can add to substantial amounts.These phenomena, unlike the major events, will notmake the headlines because of their periodicity.However, their impacts could be easier to control andthe local communities could participate in theirprevention and amelioration, as many programsfinanced by the World Bank, IDB and several NGOsare trying to promote.DroughtsPaleoclimatic data show that droughts are aworldwide phenomenon that has affected the globalcommunity over timescales of decades to millennia.In many parts of the Americas, substantial agricultureis practiced under rain-fed conditions. Variations inweather conditions and more specifically in rainfallpatterns can have both detrimental and beneficialimpacts on agricultural productivity.Droughts occur throughout North America and, inone given year, at least one region is experiencingdrought conditions. Of the 62 major weather relatedevents that occurred in the USA between 1980 and2004, at least nine were droughts. The major droughtof the 20th century in North America, in terms ofduration and spatial extent, is considered to be the1930s Dust Bowl drought, which lasted up to sevenyears in some areas of the Great Plains in the USA. Itresulted in a mass migration of millions of people tothe western USA in search of better living conditions.Much of the climatic variation in Latin America canbe linked to the El Niño. Drought conditionsassociated with El Niño events have resulted inreduced agricultural yields, crop failures, and theadoption of fallow practices instead of crops. Duringthe 1982, 1986 and 1987 El Niño years, 97%, 86%


and 73% of the rain-fed agriculture in the semi-aridnorth and central regions of Mexico were ruined.Another intense drought in Central Americaresulted from the El Niño event during the secondhalf of 1997 and the first half of 1998. The waterrelatedsectors were seriously affected, such ashydropower generation (electricity rationing),agriculture (loss of crops), forestry (record number offorest fires), fisheries (decrease in the catches), watersupply (reduced availability for some populationgroups), and health (spread of some diseases,epidemics). Central America was also hit again by awidespread drought in 2001, and according to ECLACestimates, GNP growth in the region, expected to be2.5%, reached less than 1%. Except in Costa Rica, inmost other countries there is a limited capacity toproduce climate outlook information of value forsectors affected by climate variability. Improved ElNiño forecasting could save substantial losses.Expected benefits were estimated by IFPRI and NOAAfor Mexico, Peru, Jamaica, and Honduras, where thepresent value of benefits ranged from about US$ 480million, to US$ 2,495 million in a perfect forecastscenario. But new risk management instruments arebeing adopted and comprehensive water resourcesmanagement in river basins and watersheds isgaining coverage. In this regard, watershedmanagement projects in Guatemala, Honduras, and ElSalvador show good results.Although the concept of agricultural insurance isnot new in the region, the application of risk transfermechanisms that take into account climaticvariability is being explored. Mechanisms toindemnify irrigators based on the annual inflows intoreservoirs, i.e. some specific prototype insurancecontracts that would pay when inflows are belownormal, are being proposed in Mexico. It is hopedthat such indemnity payments during water scarceperiods would provide additional liquidity to thesystem that would not only mitigate the losses to theirrigation district as a whole, but also would lead toan efficient use of the resource. Auto-financed cropinsurance models to provide protection againstdecreases in farmers’ incomes due to low cropproductivity, caused by critical drought events havealso been proposed in Brazil.iii. ASIASpecial drivers of flood risks in the regionIn China, Southeast Asia and South Asia floods arelargely influenced by the Asian monsoon and thetyphoons in the region. Widespread rains associatedwith such systems where the intensity could beextremely high cause both flash floods as well aswidespread riverine floods. These floods areaccompanied by large mudflows such as inPhilippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. The overall risksdue to natural hazards are further accentuated by theactive volcanic and seismological activities in theregion. Mud-flows and landslides, which are inducedby floods, also need to be taken into account. Theextreme variability of rains, both in time as well as inspace, cause both floods as well as droughtssometimes at the same time in different parts of acountry. Rapid population growth in the region andthe need to meet the increasing demand for food andenergy, provide livelihood, infrastructure andeconomic development, force people to move fromrural to urban areas thereby taking greater risks andputting more and more people and economicactivities at risks due to natural hazards particularlyflooding. A special characteristic of the region is thatpeople have been living with the floods for decades.However, exposure to flooding year after year hashampered their economic and social development.Harmonious living with the floods calls forimprovement in various aspects of living conditions:health, communication and livelihood. As such, floodmanagement requires to be addressed in anintegrated manner rather than with isolated actions.How are these special conditions addressed throughIntegrated Flood Management?The risk management principles envisaged under IFMcall for comprehensive assessment of risks due to allnatural hazards and adopting an approach wherevarious options of flood management are viewed1874th World Water Forum


1884th World Water Forumfrom both development perspective as well as risks.It is emphasised that all the three components thatcontribute to risks, i.e.; the magnitude and frequencyof the hazard; the exposure of the population andthe economic activities to the hazard; and thevulnerability of these activities and communities tosuch an exposure, need to be addressed inpreventing and managing risks. Assessment of risksneeds to be addressed at all stages of flood, i.e.preparedness, response and post-flood rehabilitation.Eventuality of the risks to which people are exposedand how they will affect people in the event offailure of flood protection measures should also befactored in disaster response strategies.The fact that the region is at the same timeaffected by too much as well as too little water,drought issues and the corresponding ground waterrecharge during floods have to be integrated,considering water cycle as a whole.Improving the resilience of the society and theeconomic activity to flood risks is considered to bean essential element of such an approach. With thelarge river systems where it is difficult for thegovernment machinery to be present and respond atall places at a time; or to respond to a flash floodevent that does not provide enough warning for thegovernment machinery to respond, it becomesessential that the communities are ready to helpthemselves to begin with. For such expectationsfrom the community to be fulfilled, the communityneeds to get organised in order to respond to theemergency situations. Capacity development ofcommunities for such a role is essential.The region is subject to high climate variability.Changes in this variability create a new uncertaintyfactor that is likely to impact the risk situation. Thisuncertainty should be accounted for appropriately asfar as possible. The emergency situation when astructural flood management intervention failbecause of exceedence of the design flood oruncertainty of climate change, need to be addressedas far as possible. The climate change impacts on therisks should be factored on the ‘no regret’ principle.With rapid economic growth and need for povertyalleviation, all natural resources including theecosystems should be harnessed in a sustainablemanner. There is need for addressing the issue ofdeforestation, an effect of population pressure andthe need for energy sources, in order to preventoccurrence of landslides and mudflows. There is alsothe need to have land use regulations in respect tothe location of hazardous industries in the floodplains to avoid exposure of the population to spreadof toxic chemicals due to flood water and protectingthe wetlands that provide livelihood to people.Current socio-economic situation in the region, asapparent from the experience in China and India,does not bide well for successful flood insurance. Inorder to implement effectively the mechanisms offlood insurance, support of the government toinsurance companies is essential. However, the basiccharacteristics of floods do not encourage theinsurance companies to venture into this field.Difficulty in assessment of losses due to floods in atransparent manner also plays an inhibiting factor.The mechanism of compensation and post floodrehabilitation support provided by the governmentsappears to be the most viable economic instrumentunder the given situation in the region.What lessons can be learned from the Region?Living with the floods has a long tradition in theregion. Special houses build on stilts and certainagricultural practices that withstand the ill-effect oflong inundation periods are a couple such adaptationmeasures. However, with the overall socio-economicchanges taking place in these countries, these farfrom ideal conditions of living cannot be toleratedand force people to migrate to urban areas. Scienceand technology should address the special needssuch as the communication needs and the healthconcerns of the people who are forced to live inhouses surrounded by floodwaters. Specialagricultural practices that can take advantage oflong inundations, need to be researched. Buildingtechnology should address the need for cheaperflood resistant houses. The communities have to beenabled and provided with legal and financial selfsufficiencyto organise themselves and handle theflood situations.


iv. EUROPEFactsBetween 1998 and 2002, Europe suffered over 100major damaging floods, including the catastrophicfloods along the Danube and Elbe rivers in 2002. Alsothe summer of 2005 brought severe flooding in CentralWestern Europe (Switzerland, Germany, Austria,southern France) and Eastern Europe (Rumania,Bulgaria) as a result of excessive and unusual rainfall.Since 1998 and taking into account 2005, floods havecaused more than 700 fatalities, the displacement ofmore than half a million people and more than 25billion in insured economic losses. From September2004 to September 2005 the average precipitationover Spain was between 60 – 90 % below the normalannual average. The drought caused very stressfulconditions for agriculture and urban water supplies inItaly and Spain, and spurred political debate on thefeasibility of the present development policies in Spain.European coastal zones are facing serious problemsof habitat destruction, water contamination, coastalerosion and resource depletion. This depletion of thelimited resources of the coastal zone (including thelimited physical space) is leading to increasinglyfrequent conflict between uses, such as betweenaquaculture and tourism. Coastal zones also sufferfrom serious socio-economic and cultural problems,such as weakening of the social fabric,marginalization, unemployment and destruction ofproperty by erosion.Policy and strategy responsesIn Europe local, national and transboundarygovernmental, private and non-governmentalorganizations can be involved in flood, drought andcoastal zone management. Protection measuresagainst floods and droughts and storms are mostlytaken at national and sub-national level. At theEuropean level, States are already taking flood,droughts and coastal zone protection measures butconcerted and coordinated action at the level of theEuropean Union would bring a considerable addedvalue and improve the overall levels of protectionagainst water related risks.The so-called EUROPA - Environment - EnvironmentDG - Water quality in the EU - Water FrameworkDirective adopted in 2000 by the European Parliamentand the Council is the most comprehensive frameworkfor water management of the European Union, towhich 25 countries in Europe belong. The WFD requiresthat integrated management plans be developed foreach river basin in order to achieve good ecologicaland water quality status. Whilst the WFD willcontribute to mitigating the effects of floods anddroughts, these are not the principal objectives of thedirective.The recent flood disasters and the expectedincrease in frequency and severity of floods in Europeled the European Commission in 2004 to propose thatthe Member States and the Commission work togetherto develop and implement a coordinated floodprevention, protection and mitigation actionprogramme. On the basis of the discussions in theCouncil and its invitation to the Commission to submitan appropriate proposal for an action programme, theCommission is proposing to move forward theEuropean action programme through three distinct butclosely linked actions ‘package’:1. Information and research: facilitating exchange ofexperiences and knowledge and increasing theawareness (e.g. stronger linkages betweenresearch, policy and public awareness)2. EU funding possibilities: targeted approaches atbest use of funding tools3. Legal instrument: development of country andbasin flood risk management plans and flood riskmapsDroughts are mainly a problem in Southern Europe,for the Mediterranean countries. At the European level,the EC supports drought preparedness projects in theMediterranean, but has not gone so far as developinga guideline on drought management.Many of Europe's coastal zones face problems ofdeterioration of their environmental, socio-economicand cultural resources. Since 1996, the EuropeanCommission has been working to identify and promote1894th World Water Forum


1904th World Water Forummeasures to remedy this deterioration and to improvethe overall situation in these coastal zones, which hasled to a recommendation for Integrated Coastal Zonemanagement.Local Initiatives & ProjectsNumerous initiatives and projects are underway inEurope to cope with risks; projects and initiatives atthe European level, at the basin level, at country leveland at local level. Many of the projects are tailored toaddress local up to transboundary basin conditions.These risk management initiatives have the followingin common:• Shift from a protection-oriented strategy (onlystructural works downstream) to integrated riskmanagement, taking into account not onlystructural protection and hydraulics works, but alsoregulation of the upstream flow (dynamic slowdownand retention, floodplains restoration…),improvement of early warning and forecasting,appropriate spatial planning through allowance ofspace for water, etc.• Involvement of multiple players in risk managementfrom the local councilors responsible for publicsafety and spatial planning to the citizen facedwith risk, the NGOs propagating a particularconcern to the private sector interests and theinsurance companies.• Essential involvement of the local authoritiespossibly gathered into local institutions or throughspecific partnerships.• Increase the public consciousness of risk.Given the variety of conditions in Europe the exchangeof information and experiences is encouraged in orderto take benefit and share the various experiences andknow-how between the initiatives.Local Initiatives & Projects in MonitoringNumerous initiatives and projects are underway inEurope, which invest in monitoring as an importanttool. A best practice in this sense is represented by theactivities of the Working Group within the EuropeanUnion Water Initiative, which has been jointlylaunched by the European Commission, with Italianleadership, with the overall objective of outlining aneffective Monitoring/Reporting system for measuringthe contribution of the EUWI towards the waterrelatedMDGs. The EUWI M/R focuses on monitoringprogress made in implementing the EUWI’s setobjectives and will be interfaced with internationaland national monitoring activities.The activities of the M/R-WG are arranged in fourphases, two of which have been completed, the firstregarding the analysis of existing M/R systems thatcould be linked with the EUWI M/R system and thesecond regarding the design phase of the monitoringsystem. The next two phases are aimed at putting themethodology forward. In the test phase, an initial pilottest on the EUWI Regional Components will beundertaken, in order to define the best ways topromote therein the monitoring and reporting cultureand to establish proper links with regional and centrallevels of the EUWI. In the implementation phase, acomprehensive assessment will be carried out in threeselected African countries or river basins, about thecoherence, status of implementation, performance andimpact of national water policies and the EUWI.Further cooperation beyond EuropeTo foster more cooperation and exchange ofexperience at the national and continental level,northern countries and the EC are presently activelypursuing closer working relations. An example is thecooperation in space technology for early warning.Other examples are the global projects such as theGCOS, ICOS and GWSP.ConclusionsRapid progress is being made in Europe with multistakeholderconsultations and institutionalcoordination in decision-making processes and policydevelopment for floods. The multi-stakeholderapproaches, which are still under development, showthat the results for risk management benefitsubstantially from this rather new methodology. A veryimportant benefit of the multi-stakeholder approach isthat not only public platforms are built to supportpolicy development, but also that shared planningimplies shared financing.


C. Future perspectivesWater related risks are increasing owing to populationgrowth, settlement practises, economic developmentsand climate change. At the same time, in countriesthat have achieved already a high standard ofprotection, the acceptance of risk is decreasing. Theoutcome of the preparatory process of the compilationof this thematic document on Risk Management couldbe summed up in the following 7 key messages:water-related hazards, and set scene for thediscussions within this framework theme at the4th World Water Forum.1. Stepping up investments in structural measures isnecessary to reach “water security”, i.e. copingwith too much or too little water. The strategyshould incorporate also the non-structuralmeasures and include coping with risks.2. Water management should learn how to factorwater hazard risks along with compoundingpressures, such as demography, land use, includingurbanization and deforestation, and climate.3. Capacity development programmes for watermanagers as well as public awareness raisingprogrammes on risk management are direlywanted.1914th World Water Forum4. Adequate transfer of new technologicaldevelopments and knowledge dissemination, inparticular to the Least Developed Countries, isurgently needed.5. The international community should agree on theglobal target “to halve the number of losses ofhuman lives due to water related disasters by2015”.6. The international development and financialinstitutions should focus more on disaster riskreduction and move from response to preparednessto risks.7. There is a need to build up the resilience tohazards in society, through a participatoryassessment of risks, vulnerabilities and capacitieslinked to action planning by communities.These messages should be seen as perspectives for thefuture development of Risk Management, not only for


1924th World Water ForumDisclaimer and copyrightAll rights reserved. The Risk Management Beacons.The Risk Management Beacons is a cooperation of:• the World Meteorological Organization (WMO),http://www.wmo.int• the Cooperative Programme on Water and Climate(CPWC), http://www.waterandclimate.org• the Japan Water Forum (JWF),http://www.waterforum.jp• the United Nations Department of Economic andSocial Affairs (UNDESA), http://www.un.org/esa/• The National Water Commission of Mexico, throughits National Meteorological Service,http://www.cna.gob.mx, http://smn.cna.gob.mxThe designations employed and the presentation of thematerial in this publication do not imply theexpression of any opinion whatsoever on the part ofthe Risk Management Beacons concerning the legalstatus of any country, territory, city or area or of itsauthorities, or concerning the delimitation of itsfrontiers or boundaries.The Risk Management Beacons do not warrant thatthe information contained in this publication iscomplete and correct and shall not be liable for anydamages incurred as a result of its use.This publication contains the collective view of aninternational group of authors and reviewers and doesnot necessarily represent the decisions or the statedpolicy of the Risk Management Beacons.References of key documents and organizationson Risk ManagementDocuments:• WMO publications on disasters:http://www.wmo.int/disasters/publications.htm• ISDR publications:http://www.unisdr.org/eng/library/lib-index.htmOrganizations:• World Meteorological Organization (WMO),http://www.wmo.int• Cooperative Programme on Water and Climate(CPWC), http://www.waterandclimate.org• Japan Water Forum (JWF), http://www.waterforum.jp• United Nations Department of Economic and SocialAffairs (UNDESA), http://www.un.org/esa• International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR),http://www.unisdr.org• Associated Programme on Flood Management(APFM), http://www.apfm.info• Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters(CRED), http://www.cred.be• Disaster Management Programme (DMP) of UN-HABITAT, http://www.unchs.org/programmes/rdmu• World Institute for Disaster Risk Management,http://www.drmonline.net• International Federation of Red Cross and RedCrescent Societies (IFRC), http://www.ifrc.org• Provention Consortium,http://www.proventionconsortium.org• Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC),http://www.adpc.netMore comprehensive lists of organizations related todisasters can be found at:http://www.proventionconsortium.org/partnerorg.htmandhttp://www.keele.ac.uk/depts/por/disaster.htmDescription of the beacons involvedWorld Meteorological Organization (WMO),http://www.wmo.intThe World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is aSpecialized Agency of the United Nations. It is the UNsystem's authoritative voice on the state andbehaviour of the Earth's atmosphere, its interactionwith the oceans, the climate it produces and theresulting distribution of water resources.Under WMO leadership and within the frameworkof WMO programmes, National Meteorological andHydrological Services have contributed substantially tothe protection of life and property against naturaldisasters, to safeguarding the environment and toenhancing the economic and social well-being of allsectors of society in areas such as food security, waterresources and transport. It has a unique role within theUN system as it facilitates the free and unrestrictedexchange of data and information, products andservices in real- or near-real time on matters relatingto safety and security of society, economic well beingand the protection of the environment. WMO provides


the framework for international cooperation. It isplaying a leading role in international efforts tomonitor and protect the environment through itsProgrammes, such as the World Weather WatchProgramme, World Climate Programme, theAtmospheric Research and Environment Programme,and the Hydrology and Water Resources Programme.Cooperative Programme on Water and Climate(CPWC), http://www.waterandclimate.orgBridging Water & Climate for DevelopmentClimate changes the water rules: Water managers haveto cope with today’s climate variability and tomorrow’sclimate change.Part of the problem for water managers is thatthere has been little interchange with the climatecommunity. The Cooperative Programme on Water &Climate (CPWC) builds bridges between these divideddisciplines, from the local up to the global level.CPWC supports activities in the categories ‘CopingPartnerships’, ‘Science and Research’ and ‘Educationand Training’. CPWC encourages partnership buildingbetween actors within these categories. In addition,CPWC facilitates the dissemination of the outcomesthrough its cross cutting activities under ‘InformationNetworks’ and ‘Events’. Through increasing awarenessof the issues and of potential solutions, the CPWC alsoseeks to set in motion social and political processesthat will lead to the eventual adoption of copingstrategies and 'best practices'.Japan Water Forum (JWF), http://www.waterforum.jpJapan Water Forum (JWF) utilizes thehuman/information networks and know-how cultivatedthrough the 3rd World Water Forum held in Japan2003 in expanding water related knowledge andactivities (domestic and international), in order tosupport organizations in their international wateractivities. Furthermore, JWF utilizes these informationand activities in applying latest information/policies inthe domestic water sector, responding appropriately tothe trends of international water problems anddiscussions, and thereby contributing towards solvingdomestic and international water problems.United Nations Department of Economic and SocialAffairs (UNDESA), http://www.un.org/esa/The Department of Economic and Social Affairs of theUnited Nations Secretariat is a vital interface betweenglobal policies in the economic, social andenvironmental spheres and national action. TheDepartment works in three main interlinked areas:• it compiles, generates and analyses a wide range ofeconomic, social and environmental data andinformation on which States Members of theUnited Nations draw to review common problemsand to take stock of policy options;• it facilitates the negotiations of Member States inmany intergovernmental bodies on joint courses ofaction to address ongoing or emerging globalchallenges; and• it advises interested Governments on the ways andmeans of translating policy frameworks developedin United Nations conferences and summits intoprogrammes at the country level and, throughtechnical assistance, helps build national capacities.National Water Commission of Mexico (ComisiónNacional del Agua, http://www.cna.gob.mx) andNational Meteorological Service of Mexico (ServicioMeteorológico Nacional, http://smn.cna.gob.mx)The National Meteorological Service (SMN) is theorganization in charge of providing information on thestate of the weather at the national and local levels inour country. The National Meteorological Servicedepends on the National Water Commission(CONAGUA), which forms part of the Ministry ofEnvironment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT).The objectives of the SMN concentrate on thecontinuous surveillance of the atmosphere to identifythe meteorological phenomena that can affect thedifferent economic activities and which might inparticular cause the loss of human lives. The SMN alsostores the national climatological information.Photo CreditsPage 145 Reuters Pictures1934th World Water Forum

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