Japan has recently been dealing with heavy rainfall. The rainfall has become so much that the rivers have been overflowing. This caused a flood, killing over twenty people in the south of Japan. The overflowing of rivers due to heavy rainfall is not uncommon; multiple countries are dealing with this problem on a yearly basis. Communities have to deal with a loss of power, water and telecommunication due to the flooding, as well as the high cost of flooding in financial terms. Afterwards they have to deal with the long process of recovery. In the United Kingdom the overflow over rivers occurs every year in several places. According to UK’s National Flood Resilience review around twelve percent of England is at risk of flooding, including its critical infrastructure sites.
Increasing risks and cost
Flooding is a problem that is becoming more and more significant. The financial cost and loss of life are going to rise in the near future if nothing is done to protect the land and its critical infrastructures. According to the Global Flood Analyzer the cost are going to increase significantly for practically every country around the world. For example in the United Kingdom the current annual expected cost due to flooding will rise from $ 4 billion to $ 7,7 billion in 2030. In Japan the expected cost will rise from $ 11,7 billion to $21,7 billion.
For countries that are susceptible to flooding this trend is worrisome. Their costs are already high compared to other countries that are not so susceptible to flooding. A country like the Netherlands currently has an expected cost of $23,3 billion that could rise to $ 51,4 billion in 2030 if nothing is done to increase protection. In comparison the expected cost for France are $11,4 billion which are expected to rise to $12,6 billion. The Netherlands is more susceptible to flooding. Therefore they prioritize the protection against water more than France does. Of course this does not take away that many countries need to face the costs and that significant investments have to be made in the protection against the water. The cost of the damage will certainly outweigh the cost of investment for protection.
In order to reduce these costs, it is important that societies become resilient against water. Considering the increasing urbanisation cities are the main priority. Flooding causes a lot of interlinked problems in cities; flooding damages critical infrastructures like train lines which in turn prevents people from going to work. This will hinder the economic development. Besides flooding cities also need the ability to cope with other issues like digitalization, economic development and natural disasters. By joining the RESILIENCEpoort network the process of becoming resilient can be facilitated.