Flood risk mapping


Flood risk mapping is the process of establishing the spatial extent of risk (combining information on probability and consequences). Risk mapping requires combining maps of hazards and vulnerabilities. The results of these analyses are usually presented in the form of maps that show the magnitude and nature of the risk.

These maps show the levels of expected losses which can be anticipated in

  • specific areas,
  • during a particular time period and
  • as a result of a particular flood event.

These risk maps are an important medium of communication in sustainable flood management. They may help to transfer the risk information to the residents as they depict flood risk in a colourful and easy understandable way.


By mapping only water depth and inundation areas, no decision support for flood resilience related planning is possible. Risk maps include the consequences of flood events in monetary values combined with return period as weighting factor and provide in this way a basis for sustainable planning.

For publishing risk maps you have to distinguish between two different user groups:

  • water related engineers or administrative working people
  • inhabitants who are affected by flood

When risk maps are presented in public, a clear plain risk zoning is necessary. High consternation will occur in areas with high damage potential, which are located near to the river.

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