Integrated flood disaster management and spatial information: Case studies of Netherlands and India
Keywords: Floods, Spatial Information Infrastructure, GIS, Risk Management, Emergency Management
Abstract. Spatial Information is an integral part of flood management practices which include risk management & emergency response processes. Although risk & emergency management activities have their own characteristics, for example, related to the time scales, time pressure, activities & actors involved, it is still possible to identify at least one common challenge that constrains the ability of risk & emergency management to plan for & manage emergencies effectively and efficiently i.e. the need for better information. Considering this aspect, this paper explores flood management in Netherlands& India with an emphasis on spatial information requirements of each system. The paper examines the activities, actors & information needs related to flood management. Changing perspectives on flood management in Netherlands are studied where additional attention is being paid to the organization and preparation of flood emergency management. Role of different key actors involved in risk management is explored. Indian Flood management guidelines, by National Disaster Management Authority, are analyzed in context of their history, institutional framework, achievements and gaps. Flood Forecasting System of Central Water Commission of India is also analyzed in context of spatial dimensions. Further, information overlap between risk & emergency management from the perspectives of spatial planners & emergency responders and role of GIS based modelling / simulation is analyzed. Finally, the need for an integrated spatial information structure is explained & discussed in detail. This examination of flood management practices in the Netherlands and India with an emphasis on the required spatial information in these practices has revealed an increased recognition of the strong interdependence between risk management and emergency response processes. Consequently, the importance of an integrated spatial information infrastructure that facilitates the process of both risk and emergency management is addressed.