Journal cover Journal topic
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
doi:10.5194/hess-2016-544
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
18 Nov 2016
Review status
This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS). The manuscript was not accepted for further review after discussion.
Flood modeling can make a difference: Disaster risk-reduction and resilience-building in urban areas
Jorge A. Ramirez1, Umamaheshwaran Rajasekar2, Dhruvesh P. Patel3, Tom J. Coulthard4, and Margreth Keiler1 1University of Bern, Institute of Geography, Bern, Switzerland
2TARU Leading Edge Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, India
3School of Technology, Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University, Gujarat, India
4School of Environmental Sciences, University of Hull, Hull, United Kingdom
Abstract. Surat, India is a coastal city with a population of approximately 4.5 million people that lies on the banks of the river Tapi and is located 100 km downstream from the Ukai dam. Given Surat's geographic location the city is repeatedly exposed to flooding caused by large emergency dam releases into the Tapi river combined with high tide water levels. Flood events of this type occur twice a decade, but their frequency and magnitude may increase due to the urbanization, encroachment in flood plain and climate change. A first step towards strengthening resilience in Surat requires a robust method for mapping flood exposure at fine spatial resolution. Here, in this study we have developed such a method for Surat using a reduced-complexity hydrodynamic model to simulate flooding, but is easily transferable to other urban locations. Our method features three distinct phases that involve: (1) modelling dam release discharge from the Ukai dam arriving at Surat, (2) modelling flooding within Surat caused by the combination of dam release and tides, and, (3) identifying Surat critical infrastructure, population, and income groups exposed to flooding. Our flood model of Surat utilizes topography produced using elevation data collected from an extensive survey. Within the city we have modelled flood scenarios that represent the uncertainty in flood peak discharge and duration resulting from possible climate change. These scenarios include catastrophic conditions that flood 50 % of the city and expose > 60 % of the population and critical infrastructure to deep flooding. Finally, we highlight how our modelling has contributed to changes in flood risk management within the city following a major flood and resulted in actions that have increased community resilience to flood hazard.

Citation: Ramirez, J. A., Rajasekar, U., Patel, D. P., Coulthard, T. J., and Keiler, M.: Flood modeling can make a difference: Disaster risk-reduction and resilience-building in urban areas, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., doi:10.5194/hess-2016-544, 2016.
Jorge A. Ramirez et al.
Interactive discussionStatus: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version      Supplement - Supplement
 
RC1: 'Lacking novelty', Anonymous Referee #1, 14 Dec 2016 Printer-friendly Version 
AC1: 'Novelty of study', Jorge Ramirez, 19 Dec 2016 Printer-friendly Version 
 
RC2: 'HESS-2015-544-review', Anonymous Referee #2, 05 Feb 2017 Printer-friendly Version Supplement 
Jorge A. Ramirez et al.
Jorge A. Ramirez et al.

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Short summary
Surat, India has a population of 4.5 million and lies on the banks of the river Tapi and is located downstream from a dam that repeatedly floods the city. Floods in Surat may increase in occurrence due to urbanization and climate change. We have developed a model that floods 50 % of the city and exposes > 60 % of the population and critical infrastructure. We highlight how modeling has contributed to changes in flood risk management and resulted in actions that increase city resilience.
Surat, India has a population of 4.5 million and lies on the banks of the river Tapi and is...
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