IFM Principles

Overcome administrative and disciplinary boundaries

  • Given that river basin boundaries are usually not identical with administrative boundaries, institutional structures for proper coordination between administrative entities need to be established. Experience shows that without cooperation across administrative boundaries flood risks are likely to get shifted spatially or temporally.
  • For its effectiveness and efficiency, flood management should be prioritized and mainstreamed in basin development processes. Land use planning and water management have to be combined in one synthesized plan through co-ordination between land management and water management authorities to achieve consistency in planning.

  • Expertise from a variety of disciplines is required in particular to accompany the analytical part of planning processes, but also in implementation of flood management plans. Next to hydrologists, river engineers and geomorphologists, a whole range of expertise is required from economists, ecologists, social scientists and  those dealing with natural resources law and institutional design. The question of sustainable development can only be addressed if those disciplines work together in analyzing the flood issues and appraising different options for action.

  • Support and political committment from multiple sectors, is required in the planning and implementation of flood management plans. If a water authority or a disaster management authority deal exclusively with the issue it is most likely that action lead to fragmented and uncoordinated outcomes. Similarly, if local land use planers and land developers are not part of the process sustainable flood management solutions cannot be implemented. One could continue with those that plan for transport infrastructure, water and energy utilities. Those stakeholders are not only required at the table to be fully aware of the flood risk to their assets but also to understand the implications their developments have on creating or shifting flood risk.


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