Flood and Drought Management Tools

Flood and Drought Management Tools project gathers valuable insights from basin stakeholder consultations

News ― With changing climatic conditions, flood and drought events are more frequent, increasingly severe, while also less predictable. Can a Decision Support System support the day to day activities of basin stakeholder play a crucial role in managing the impacts of climate change?

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso                              Kisumu, Kenya                                     Bangkok, Thailand

With changing climatic conditions, flood and drought events are more frequent, increasingly severe, while also less predictable.

The International Water Association (IWA) and DHI, with support from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Global Environment Fund (GEF), have initiated a project, ‘Flood and Drought Management Tools’ (F&DMT), in an effort to improve resilience within river basins, and to ensure flood and drought elements become a key part of water management plans.

The project started officially in June 2014 and had a 6 month inception phase, during which the executing agencies (IWA and DHI) organised a series of stakeholder consultations with 40 organisations and institutions in three pilot basins, Volta (21-29 August 2014), Lake Victoria (15-17 September 2014) and Chao Phraya (6-10 October 2014). The stakeholder consultations were an opportunity to discuss in detail the F&DMT project with stakeholders:

  • Key stakeholders understand and endorse the objective of the F&DMT project, understanding how the project will help improve current water planning methods / processes
  • Identify issues the key stakeholders are facing during water planning  – focusing on transboundary issues related to climate change, floods and droughts – and gather feedback to ensure the proposed methodology addresses issues within the pilot basins
  • Identify other projects or initiatives that we can work with that could potentially fill issue of data collection and knowledge gaps of the basin

To find out details of the consultations, the detailed summary reports can be found here: [Volta Basin] [Lake Victoria Basin] [Chao Phraya Basin]

The consultations showed that planning is performed in all the three basins, but the issues, priorities, information, scales, procedures and collaboration between organisations differ significantly between the three basins. Feedback from stakeholders has provided valuable insight into focus areas for the F&DMT project, primarily on:

  • Usability – the variation in technical level, issues, data etc., are so great that the DSS needs to be able to adapt to the local workflows and methods.
  • DSS and planning methods – through the project scope there is a need for a close coordination between the developed DSS and the existing planning methods (IWRM, TDA/SAP and WSP).
  • Flexibility – The project will not be able to deliver a complete planning system embracing all the issues and requirements.  The final DSS will be flexible and will be possible to add relevant methods, tools, models, etc.
  • Key tools – Tools represent the functionality within the DSS software. The project will focus on development of a few key tools, implementation of a number of existing tools, and a simple implementation of a number of other tools. These tools reflect the various planning components of the DSS software; analysis, planning, implementation and monitoring, such as a document library, stakeholder tools to enable communication, GIS tools, remote sensing tools, seasonal forecasting tool, reporting tools.
  • Framework – The project will focus on development of a framework which is usable and flexible ensuring that the final deliverable is used, and further developed after the closure of the project. The user interface is the framework from where users will work with the DSS, and is the platform which connects the tools with the activities within the planning methods.