Traditionally, flood management has focused on controlling floods in terms of draining flood water as quickly as possible to the next water body, store flood water temporarily, or to separate the river from the population in terms of river engineering works. Another emphasis has been on emergency response and recovery once a flood occurs. Even though the declared goal of such efforts has been to reduce economic flood losses there is an overwhelming body of evidence that suggests that floods can never be fully controlled and that alongside economic development the flood losses have a natural tendency to rise. It is now widely recognized that a paradigm shift is required from defensive action and flood control to the integrated management of floods. The need for this paradigm shift is the inspiration behind the concept of Integrated Flood Management, which seeks to integrate land and water resources development in a river basin within the context of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in order to maximize the net benefits from flood plains, with flood risk awareness, and minimizing the loss of life from flooding.
This module provides a general introduction to the concept of Integrated Flood Management (IFM) and explains: