Flood Risk


Risk can be described, depending on how the consequence of a potential disaster is expressed, as [*1] :

  • risk cost, or repair cost (in monetary terms), or
  • risk of endangering human lives (as a number of people affected) etc.

The risk of any natural hazard, including the flood risk, must be clearly understood and communicated to all concerned. As none of defence measures is absolutely secure, it is necessary to provide public communication of:

  • the residual level of risk
  • the likelihood of flooding in any particular season, and
  • the actions necessary to reduce personal loss and damage

So, it is of a great importance to express the risk to public properly.

Traditionally, severity of a flood has been described by the use of return period.

To avoid the confusion, the severity of a flood should be measured through [*2]:

  • the annual probability of occurrence, or
  • the lifetime probability of occurrence.

In the latter case, both design life and return period are included, so different options are comparable.



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*1 Plate (1993)

*2 Mockett, Simm (2002)



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