WRI and four Dutch research institutes team up to develop Aqueduct flood analyzer
World Resources Institute (WRI), in collaboration with four Dutch research organizations, launched a four-year flood risk assessment initiative in New York on 22 September, the day before the UN Climate Summit.
The first phase of the project, set to launch later this year, will be the Aqueduct Flood Analyzer, a first-of-its-kind freely available, open-source analytical tool that will reveal the potential human and economic impacts of current and future flood risks worldwide.
The collaboration involves Deltares research institute, VU University Amsterdam, Utrecht University, and PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. The Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment supports the initiative.
The Aqueduct flood analyzer will be implemented in conjunction with the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities.WRI has already mapped in Aqueduct the most water stressed river basins in the world.
Increasing flood threats
"Flooding threatened more than 100 million people in 2013 alone", said Andrew Steer, President & CEO, WRI. "This initiative will offer world- class information to help decision makers respond to this profound and growing risk, which disproportionately affects the world’s poorest communities."
In 2005, according to the OECD, 40 million people and 3 trillion USD - 5 percent of global GDP - were exposed to serious floods in port cities. That number is expected to increase to 150 million people and 35 trillion USD, or 9 percent of global GDP, by 2070.
"We are honored to support WRI and our partner network to share the Netherlands’ world-leading flood risk assessment and intervention capacity with the world", said Wilma Mansveld, Minister of the Environment of The Netherlands. "The forthcoming flood analyzer has the potential to strengthen the resilience and security of communities worldwide - especially for the world’s most impoverished and vulnerable people."
Easy access to flood predictions
The forthcoming Flood Analyzer is expected to reach decision makers on national, state, and municipal levels. Finance ministers, state water resources managers, mayors, and others will have easy access to reliable estimates of potential damages from river floods and coastal storm surges, as well as costs and benefits of a broad range of response options.
"This initiative has tremendous capacity to motivate investments that reduce disaster risks", said Charles Iceland, Senior Manager, Aqueduct. "But we will only make a difference if we work closely and persistently with the government, business, and non-profit users who need this information most."
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