August 22, 2006 | Stockholm, Sweden
The frequency and magnitude of floods and droughts are affected by climate change and extreme meteorological events, with human activities as amplifying or moderating factors. Coastal areas with a high concentration of population and economic activity are particularly vulnerable. Floods are sudden and dramatic events grab the headlines. The inertia to implement mitigation measures is probably due to the need for a combination of technical and social measures. In technical terms, the principle is to disperse flow components to reduce superimposition on peak flows. At the same time, flow retention is important to allow for groundwater infiltration and surface storage to overcome problems of erratic rainfalls and droughts. Social measures include a scrutiny of the norms for settlement patterns and how to cope with impacts.
This workshop focused on strategies for mitigation measures to reduce the consequences of floods and droughts. What kind of technical and social measures are required to mitigate the consequences of these vagaries of nature? How should these two measures be balanced to reduce risk while ensuring water availability for society? How should physical infrastructure, e.g. reservoirs and water supply systems be managed with regard to safety considerations, especially under climatic change conditions and extreme meteorological events?