Freshwater scarcity

If you use development funding to build a school, a port or a hospital, you will preferably do it in a safe place. To raise awareness among project managers and to help them with this type of infrastructure challenge, the Global Facility for Disaster Risk Reduction (GAIKWAD) of the World Bank has a tool that shows whether natural disasters may occur in an area where infrastructure has to be built. Could the area be hit by a natural disasters such as a volcanic eruption, a cyclone, an earthquake, or water shortages and drought? The ThinkHazard! website maps out the probability of natural disasters on the global scale and – more importantly – provides project managers with advice that allows them to minimise the risks associated with natural disasters of this kind.


ThinkHazard! comprises a tool and a website that have been in place since May 2016, allowing project managers working with new infrastructure throughout the world to see what natural disasters could affect their project locations. The idea is to provide them with a picture of the consequences so that they can take them into account early when designing projects.

Deltares has been working on the development of the tool since 2014. Initially, we identified the appropriate indicators and selected the methodology. We then supplied the indicators for three natural disasters: river floods, cyclones and water shortages. Finally, Deltares designed the decision tree that is used to see whether datasets that become available should be included to keep the tool – which is open source – up to date and to improve it further.

What a challenge it is to transform the complex basic knowledge hidden in the tool into user-friendly information for non-experts! It is so important to simplify, without compromising in terms of the content, in order to get the message across. We are getting better all the time.
Sophie Vermooten
Deltares Expert Hydrogeology
The expertise of Deltares in modelling flood and drought hazards on a global level, and in translating technical information in a user-friendly way, has been very valuable in the successful development of the ThinkHazard! tool.
Alanna Leigh Simpson
The World Bank

For this project Deltares has collaborated with the following partners:

  • World Bank Group
  • BRGM
  • Camp2Camp

Want to know more about this project?

drs. J.S.A. (Sophie) Vermooten
Expert Hydrogeology