Step 5: Identification and Selection of Options to Reduce Risks

Flood risks being the construct of flood hazards, exposure of economic activities and the vulnerability of the society affected by floods, it is crucial that options to reduce each of the components are fully explored. Based on the target of flood management suitability of various options to meet that target should be examined.

A good guidance on the available options could be obtained by analysis of the past flood management practices and how they have mitigated flood risks. Such an analysis would also provide guidance on the improvements and modifications that may be required for adoption to the specific basin situation.

An exhaustive list of potential options for achieving the desired basin flood management targets could be derived in a variety of ways. First among them is the experience in the technical departments. However, care should be taken that the experts from other disciplines such as ecology, sociology, economics participate in discussions and put forth their point of view and suggestion for achieving the targets. Public debate on various options and use of local knowledge can throw unexpected and un-conventional solutions. None of them should be discarded off hand.

The listed options should then undergo a multistage screening process from various perspectives:

  • technical feasibility
  • economic efficiency
  • social acceptability
  • environmental viability

Various tools such as Strategic Environmental Assessment, Cost Benefit Analysis and Multi-criteria Analysis are available to carry out each of these screening tests.

It is at this stage of the planning process that stakeholder participation is most important. Participation brings individual and community ownership, commitment and concerted actions in flood risk mitigation, which in turn produces a wide range of appropriate, innovative and feasible mitigation solutions that are cost-effective and sustainable. It can also help take decisions on sharing the risks among various entities such as individual, communities, municipalities, state governments and the national government.

Based on these analysis and participation processes, suit of options meeting the targets of basin flood management plan are chosen for inclusion in the basin plan.

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Further Information

Structural Measures (forthcoming)

Non-Structural Measures (forthcoming)