Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 496678
Title Trends in flood risk management in deltas around the world: Are we going ‘soft’?
Author(s) Wesselink, A.; Warner, J.F.; Syed, M.A.; Chan, F.; Tran, D.D.; Huq, H.; Huthoff, F.; Thuy, N. Le; Pinter, N.; Staveren, M.F. van; Wester, P.; Zegwaard, A.
Source International Journal of Water Governance 3 (2015)4. - ISSN 2211-4491 - p. 25 - 46.
Department(s) Sociology of Development and Change
Water Resources Management
Laboratory of Geo-information Science and Remote Sensing
Environmental Policy
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2015
Abstract Flood-risk management (FRM) is shaped by context: a society’s cultural background; physical possibilities and constraints; and the historical development of that society’s economy, politi- cal system, education, etc. These provide different drivers for change, in interaction with more global developments. We compare historical and current FRM in six delta areas and their con- texts: Rhine/Meuse/Scheldt (The Netherlands), Pearl River (China), Mekong (Vietnam), Ganges/ Brahmaputra/Meghna (Bangladesh) Zambezi/Limpopo (Mozambique), and Mississippi (USA). We show that in many countries the emphasis is shifting from ‘hard’ engineering, such as dikes, towards non-structural ‘soft’ measures, such as planning restrictions or early warning systems, while the ‘hard’ responses are softened in some by a ‘building with nature’ approach. However, this is by no means a universal development. One consistent feature of the application of ‘hard’ FRM technology to deltas is that it pushes them towards a technological ‘lock-in’ in which fewer and fewer ‘soft’ FRM alternatives are feasible due to increased ood risks. By contrast, ‘soft’ FRM is typically exible, allowing a range of future options, including future hard elements if needed and appropriate. These experiences should lead to serious re ection on whether ‘hard’ FRM should be recommended when ‘soft’ FRM options are still open.
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