Integration and Coordination

An river basin approach is recognized as a key requirement to manage floods. Consequently, the planning and decision-making processes of a number of separate development entities, whose decisions in any form influence the hydrological response of the basin, must be coordinated to ensure that flood risks are assessed and managed successfully. Evaluation of different solutions for flood management requires close interaction among scientists engaged in different disciplines. Furthermore, the planning processes related to flood preparedness, response and recovery, spread over various governmental and non-governmental institutions, need to be harmonized to work towards the same policy aims of minimizing losses of life from flooding and maximizing the efficient use of floodplains. It is only through this integrated approach that we move from a mono-disciplinary and mono-sectoral approach of “flood control” to unleash the full potential of human ability to manage floods in an integrated manner.

A prerequisite for well coordinated decision-making at the basin level is a coherent and harmonized flood management strategy at the basin level whose principles are implemented at all levels of public planning by all involved public agencies.

Basically, there are two dimensions of integration and coordination:

Vertical:

  • Consistency in the policy and planning processes as well as implementation at different levels of government, i.e.  from the local level up, plans should be consistent with those produced at the next higher level.

Horizontal:

  • Coordination between the various government departments and ministries on the same institutional scale.
  • Involvement of the stakeholders and interest groups in decision-making processes.

In order to ensure that government planning under various sectors is harmonized and takes into account flood risks, where appropriate, strategic plans and policies originating in all areas of development should be assessed to determine whether or not they will have a significant impact on flood risks. It is finally a political choice what level of risk is acceptable to a society in view of the development challenges it faces and this should be reflected in the law. Different approaches to coordination at various levels can be taken based on the experience within the country either in the water sector or any other related sector.


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