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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2016-544
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2016-544
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 18 Nov 2016

Submitted as: research article | 18 Nov 2016

Status
This preprint has been retracted.

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 Jorge A. Ramirez et al.
  • 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.

This preprint has been retracted.
Jorge A. Ramirez et al.
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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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