Special Sessions

The following proposals have been accepted as special sessions at ICFM7. Abstracts to be presented in the sessions can be found in the programme.

Land for Flood Risk Management
Dr. Thomas Hartmann
Faculty of Geosciences
Utrecht University, NL

Dr. Sally Priest
Flood Hazard Research Centre,
Middlesex University, UK

Session Description

Land is an essential ingredient for flood risk management. A spatial turn can be observed in flood risk management in recent decades which sees a movement away from traditional flood protection towards approaches which utilise land in different ways including nature-based solutions to retain water, flood storage, increasing space for rivers and flood-resilient cities. Although the technical and hydrological conditions of such solutions are relatively well known, effective reduction of flood risks on a catchment level is still lacking.

Flood risk management measures often inevitably affect privately owned land. Usually, flood risk management deals first with technical and hydrological issues before addressing land use management issues and the increased complexity that this introduces. Accordingly, the implementation of flood risk management is hampered by insufficient and catchment-wide land management and a lack of tools with which to incentivise private land owners and realise flood risk management objectives.

In this session, the land management perspective of flood risk management is central. How can (private) land users be encouraged to store water on their land or adapt land uses? Are there innovative concepts of land management, specific property rights solutions, or new approaches to arrangements with land users to get (access to) the required land for flood risk management? What does a land policy for flood risk management look like? Those questions and related issues shall be discussed to explore the increasing research demand but also to identify new and innovative concepts integrating land use and flood risk management.

Future challenges in estimation of loss of life and evacuation
Prof. Dr.ir Bas Jonkman, Professor of Integral Hydraulic Engineering

Dr.ir. Bas Kolen, Coordinator Natural Hazards TU Delft Safety and Security Insitute
TUDelft, HKV

Session Description

Over the past decade there has been significant development in the field of loss of life estimation. A number of groups over the world have been working on developing a better understanding of what drives loss of life, and how to incorporate that improved understanding in models. A host of different approaches are available, ranging from detailed simulation models to more simple empirical approaches. There are several shared challenges, including the lack of calibration and validation data, uncertainties in the outcomes, and the limited understanding of underlying social (e.g. evacuation behaviour) and physical processes (e.g. building collapse and vehicle stability).

In the session would like to focus on the use of different models for estimation of loss of life and evacuation (as preventive or vertical evacuation) and the improvement of them. These should all be pitched in short presentation of 1-2 minutes. We would like to discuss the use (and limitations) of these models based on one area. In the sessions we would like to discuss the use of the available models and required improvements taking uncertainties into account for 1) risk assessment as input to design structures but also 2) the use these models for risk assessments in case of a threat of flooding.

Based on the discussion we would like to identify the required data (to collect in future events) we need to improve our models and to reduce uncertainty and get a better insight when to use which model.

Coastal Flood Risk in Changing Climate
Dr. Harshinie Karunarathna, Associate Professor in Coastal and Estuary Engineering
College of Engineering,
Swansea University

Session Description

Coastal flooding is among one of the top reasons for civil emergencies and is responsible for billions of pounds worth economic losses, loss of human lives and health hazards worldwide. The intensity and frequency of coastal flooding from hurricanes, cyclones and extreme storms has been significantly increased during the last few decades. In addition, it has been identified that the risk of flooding is on the rise and many more areas will be under serious risk in future.

The aim of this session is to bring together leading research and researchers in coastal flood risk, which will assist reliable flood forecasting, developing mitigation strategies and improving flood resilience in future. The session will be organised to cover a variety of topics on modelling and forecasting coastal and estuarine flood risk with special emphasis on the impacts of climate change on flooding. The session will provide a platform for presenting research on novel computational methods and statistical approaches for coastal flood modelling and forecasting; case studies; flood risk and reliability analyses; flood risk mitigation and resilience; flood impacts on coastal defences and infrastructure; and coastal flood risk management.

A Panta Rhei perspective on changes in flood risk
Heidi Kreibich
Head of Working Group Flood risk and climate adaptation
GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences

Session Description

Due to expected further increases of flood damage, many countries reconsider their policies and strategies for flood risk management. This requires more knowledge and detailed analyses of changing flood risk, projections of future flood losses and assessments of risk management alternatives. To support such assessments, the IAHS Panta Rhei working group “Changes in flood risk” aims at understanding, quantifying and modelling the linkages between physical or socio-economic drivers and changes in flood risk as well as analyzing risk management strategies. The main aim of this session is to present and discuss results from various countries and disciplines on changing flood risk and risk management. Abstracts are invited for contributions that cover research as well as practical implementation of risk assessment and management.

Local scale approaches to community flood resilience
Associate Professor Jessica Lamond
University of the West of England, Bristol

Associate Professor Nevil Quinn
University of the West of England, Bristol

Professor Lindsey McEwen
University of the West of England, Bristol

Session Description

This session will focus on local scale initiatives and adaptations, case studies and demonstrations of community flood resilience, and accompanying research and evaluation, recognising that ‘community’ can have varied meanings. These include, for example, community groups/networks, and those that work with communities in resilience building (local government, environmental regulator, emergency services, business, third sector, NGOs, the arts, humanities or others).

It will aim to highlight some of the dichotomies in the role of civil society in flood risk management and to learn from international comparisons as to ‘what works’ in different community settings..

The scope of the session will be designed to promote interdisciplinary discussion.

It could include:
• property-level or collective flood protection measures,
• community actions for preparedness, adaptation, transformation and solidarity (e.g. new technologies or ways of working that support individual or collection action)
• community-led flood warning systems and emergency action plans.
• challenges and models of funding of local schemes. (eg crowd sourcing, private sector finance, microfinance, micro insurance grant aid, incentives)
• models of partnership working involving citizens and communities within different settings (social, cultural)
• ways of bringing more hidden or underserved communities into local (flood) resilience building.

We would welcome contributions focussing on innovative community-led projects, and reflecting on the role of civic society in local flood risk management and resilience-building, and the challenges of public engagement and flood risk communication.

System approaches to flood risk assessment and management
Bruno Merz
GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Germany

Karin de Bruijn
Deltares, The Netherlands

Nina Ridder
KNMI Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, The Netherlands

Kai Schröter
GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Germany

Session Description

Flood risk is highly variable in space and time. This spatio-temporal dynamics is driven, among other things, by interactions between the components of risk. For instance, reinforcing and raising dikes typically increases the probability of inundation downstream. Flood protection by dikes reduces the probability of flooding but can intensify the economic development behind dikes, thus increasing exposure. In areas with high protection standards, households and companies may have low risk perception, thus showing high vulnerability. Such interactions are poorly captured in current flood risk assessments and management strategies. We invite submissions that take a systems approach and attempt to understand and consider interactions in space, in time or between risk components in risk assessment or risk management.

Global Flood Models:  From theory to practice (Special Session Spotlight)
Mark Trigg, University Academic Fellow – Water Related Risk
School of Civil Engineering,
University of Leeds, UK

Jeffrey Neal, Lecturer
School of Geography,
University of Bristol, UK

Philip Ward, Associate Professor
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam / VU, Netherlands

Session Description

Global Flood Models (GFMs) are now a practical reality and their outputs are being actively used for flood hazard mapping as well as flood early warning. The use of these models is particularly attractive in contexts where application of traditional flood management modelling methods would be challenging due to lack of data, or scale and access issues. For many of the models, especially those associated with the Global Flood Partnership, outputs are freely available and they also offer a consistent approach across multiple global regions, which is of great interest to international and national organisations. However, with all new methods and data come a host of application opportunities and challenges. This session will explore this exciting nascent field and abstracts are invited from those involved with all aspects of the development and application of GFMs to the field of flood risk management.

Some of the current challenges and opportunities:
• Are these models good enough to be used for real management decisions?
• What scale limitations apply to their application and how do we localise the global outputs to have meaningful local relevance?
• What can we learn from examples where they have been used already?
• How do we improve the physical process representation in the models and what are the data challenges associated with this?
• What level of physical process detail is necessary within the context of the application and data uncertainty?
• With more ready access to the outputs through webtools, does this bring a wider inclusiveness to flood management and therefore an urgency to communication the uncertainty of the outputs to a wider audience?
• As model physics, resolution and computing improve, what are the opportunities for these models to compliment traditional flood modelling?