An educational perspective on flood risk management

Nilay Dogulu, Biswa Bhattacharya, Dimitri P. Solomatine, Christian Bernhofer, Allen Bateman, Mitja Brilly

Monday 29 june 2015

17:57 - 18:00h at North America (level 0)

Themes: (T) Flood risk management and adaptation, (ST) Adaptation measures, Poster pitches

Parallel session: Poster pitch: 2I: FloodRisk - Adaption

Flood risk management (FRM) has emerged as a key concern posing significant engineering and societal challenges in all around the world. Management of and adaptation to increased flood risk is therefore essential, and requires development of sustainable and effective FRM strategies that embrace a holistic and integrated approach. This approach emphasizes the necessity to address research on and practice in FRM in an interdisciplinary fashion. Accordingly, the field of FRM incorporates a variety of disciplines and subjects including meteorology, hydrology, climatology, water resources, hydraulics, hydroinformatics, forecasting and early warning, climate change, decision-making (under uncertainty), spatial planning, risk perception and communication, risk governance (e.g. institutional framework and policy development), and socioeconomics. Flood risk professionals and researchers are required to have a certain level of knowledge in and appropriate level of insight into these subjects. Considering also the dynamic and dependent nature of a flood risk system, the practice of FRM is inevitably challenging in multiple ways. Hence, flood risk managers and professionals are often faced with difficulties. In this regard, establishing training and education programmes is essentially worthwhile not only for the improvement of current knowledge and skills of existing flood risk professionals but also for capacity building through raising future flood risk professionals. Unfortunately, the importance of such training and education has not been widely and effectively recognized in both undergraduate and graduate levels. There is still a need for incorporating a consistently comprehensive and integrated approach to FRM education in the world. This paper presents views at the structure and syllabus of undergraduate and Master courses related to FRM. The case of Erasmus Mundus Programme in Flood Risk Management (FLOODRisk Master), the only ongoing full Master’s degree (international) programme on flood risk management in the world, is included as an illustration of current teaching practice. The challenges and the future direction of training and education on FRM are discussed as well.