Flood risk

Flood risk

Throughout the world, floods account for about one-third of all natural disasters.

Climate change makes floods more likely and so the risks are greater. Research by Deltares has shown that economic development will be the most important factor driving the rising flood risk in the coming decades. More and more people will be living and working in high-risk locations and so the impact of flooding will continue to increase.

Many countries will have to switch from reactive policies to preventive, risk-based, flood risk management. That implies improving the resilience of specific locations by using new, innovative, methods to keep out the water, optimising spatial planning, and improving crisis management. Since 1 January 2017, the Netherlands has had new risk-based standards for flood risk management. The new approach looks not only at the probability of flooding but also at the impact, opening up opportunities for new solutions.

Flood risk management is a major research theme at Deltares. Our research focuses on areas that include the ongoing development of methods to determine the flood risk, how floods impact critical infrastructure, innovative measures to mitigate risks and the methods required for adaptive policies relating to flood risk management. The aim of all this research is to establish well-founded, new approaches to policy, management and crisis situations, both in the Netherlands and in other countries.