Glossary D


A description of the value of social, economic and ecological impacts (harm) caused by a flood.

Source: FLOWS

Damage area

Affected area in which a natural event has caused injury to people or damage to property.

Source: FLOWS

Damage potential

A description of the value of social, economic and ecological impacts (harm) that would be caused in the event of a flood.

Source: FLOODsite

Damage prevention

All measures taken in order to avoid damage.

Source: FLOWS


Danger has two meanings. On the one hand danger describes the exposure to potential harm. On the other hand danger is used as a synonym for an imminent hazard, threatening objects or individuals of a community. In this sense the term refers to the potentially damaging event that may harm individuals or cause material losses or damages to the environment.

Source: FLOWS

Decision support sytem

Complex decision support systems (DSS) facilitate the decision-makers to compare different options. A set of mathematical methods allows to balance different alternatives on the basis of certain criteria and valuations. Often a conglomeration of various methods is applied to assist factual and impartial decisions. To solve spatial issues DSS often are combined with GIS applications (Spatial Decision Support Systems, SDSS). The Geo Information Systems (GIS) accomplishes the data management and enlarge a DSS by spatial analyses. An additional advantage is that input data are easier manageable and results can be mapped. The field of application is diversified. DSS are for example applied in flood mitigation planning.

Source: FLOWS

Depth maps

Maps that present the calculated water depth in flooded area with a given return period. As for instance; 10 years floods, 50 years floods, 100 years floods etc.

Source: FLOWS

Defence sytem

Two or more defences acting to achieve common goals (e.g. maintaining flood protection to a floodplain area/ community).

Source: FLOODsite

Design event

Hypothetical event defined as the basis for the design of structures and/or activities to mitigate / eliminate the event’s potential for injury or damage.

Source: FLOWS

Design standart

A performance indicator that is specific to the engineering of a particular defence to meet a particular objective under a given loading condition. Note: the design standard will vary with load, for example there may be different performance requirements under different loading conditions.

Source: FLOODsite

Detention basin

Depressions used to capture storm water.

Source: FLOWS, Cambrigeshire County Council (2006)


formal talks between opposing countries, political groups etc.



In case of an extreme event we are talking about a Disaster (= catastrophe). A disaster is a sudden and unexpected event which disrupt the functioning of a community or a society and causes widespread human, material, economic or environmental losses. Assistance from outside may be needed as the ability of the affected community or society to cope with may be exceeded.

Source: FLOWS

Discharge (stream, river)

as measured by volume per unit of time.

Source: FLOODsite

Discounted Cash Flow

Discounted cash flow is a mathematical technique applied to financial and economic cost-benefit analysis which enables the comparison of costs and benefits occurring at different time by calculating a present value for each.

Source: FLOWS


Dissemination of project information might mean telling a wider audience about a project and its results. This can enable organisations to learn from others' experience and good practice. In connection with flood management dissemination activities aim for a systematic distribution of flood related information or knowledge through a variety of ways to potential beneficiaries. The purpose of a dissemination activity is to assure that information and/or knowledge supports the process of decision making or taking specific actions. Above all, information and/or knowledge has to be available to those who can most benefit from it. In this spirit dissemination goes well beyond simply making research available through the traditional types of journal publication and academic conference presentations. It involves a process of extracting the main messages or key implications derived from research results and communicating them to targeted groups of decision makers and other stakeholders in a way that encourages them to factor the research implications into their work. Face-to-face communication is encouraged whenever possible.


Dissemination strategy

A Dissemination Strategy is a planned approach to informing a wider audience about the results of a project. Dissemination techniques are for example the holding of Focus Groups or so called “Interactive Learning Groups” as a type of face-to-face communication or the setup of websites to transmit information to intended audience and target groups.

Source: FLOWS


Retrofitting strategy where the water is kept out of the building.

Source: FLOWS

Headers and keywords
Page content





   G - I

   J - M

   N - Q



   T - Z >







Further Information