Articles on Flooding

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Hurricane Irma passes Cuba and approaches southern Florida on Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017, with Hurricane Jose at lower right. NASA

Understanding hurricane risks: 5 essential reads

The 2018 hurricane season starts on June 1, with some communities still recovering from 2017 storms. Scholars offer insights about where the risks lie and who is most vulnerable during and after hurricanes.
A storm caused flooding in the CBD as it swept through Hobart. Patrick Gee/The Mercury. Used with permission

Lessons in resilience: what city planners can learn from Hobart’s floods

Managing flood risk is not just 'good planning'; it requires commitment to resilient cities by land developers, politicians and communities. Effective response means learning from mistakes.
Flood waters rise in the Montreal neighbourhood of Cartierville in May 2017. (Fred/flickr)

Urban floods: We can pay now or later

The risk of urban flooding is rising. Overall, residents and municipalities are ill prepared, but there are steps homeowners can take to protect themselves.
Heavy rainfall triggered extensive flooding across the province of Alberta in 2013. (Ryan L. C. Quan/Wikimedia)

Damage from flooding doesn’t have to be inevitable

Calgary has already had two 100-year floods in less than a decade. But the city and the province have yet to take action to meaningfully lower the risk of future flood damages.
The Iguazu Falls in Brazil are part of the Guarani Aquifer, one of the world’s major underground reserves of fresh water. The 8th World Water Forum, part of 2018 World Water Day, is being held in Brazil, home to the most fresh water on Earth. (Shutterstock)

Why every day should be World Water Day

Water is one of our most precious resources, yet it's in danger. World Water Day reminds us of the need to develop policies and governance to avoid squandering water.
Floods in South East Queensland follow a 40-year cycle, and planners should take note. AAP Image

Floods don’t occur randomly, so why do we still plan as if they do?

Engineering practice assumes that floods are randomly distributed but science suggests they are not. This raises questions about the reliability of flood infrastructure and management strategies.
Searching for victims after a rain-triggered mudslide that blanketed a village and killed at least 178 people in north China’s Shanxi province, Sept. 13, 2008. AP Photo/Andy Wong

Global toll from landslides is heaviest in developing countries

While the Montecito, California mudslides took 20 lives, landslides kill far more people in developing countries. Tighter construction standards and early warning systems could help reduce their toll.
If more people live in the Adelaide Hills, they are more likely to be exposed to bushfires. David Mariuz/AAP

Natural hazard risk: is it just going to get worse or can we do something about it?

What decisions can we make today to reduce the future risk of hazards like floods and fire? Particularly in a time of climate change, modelling various plausible futures helps us plan for uncertainty.

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