, Volume 19, Issue 6, pp 375-377
Date: 13 Oct 2005

Advances in flood risk management under uncertainty

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Flood events have an enormous impact on human well-being, jeopardizing important social development goals such as addressing poverty, ensuring adequate food, water, and sanitation, and protecting the environment. Accordingly, floods are among the most devastating of all natural disasters. Direct losses from floods include drownings and injuries as well as damage to infrastructure and property, agricultural production, and sites of historical and cultural value. Indirect health problems often arise, such as water-borne infections, exposure to chemical pollutants released into flood waters, and vector-borne diseases.

In many regions of the world, flooding is a frequent, widespread, and increasing natural hazard. For example, in recent years, water levels in England (Ouse River) and the European Continent (Elbe River) rose to their highest levels in recorded history, breaking previous records set in 1625 and 1845, respectively. Globally, the number of “great floods” (floods with discharges ...