Advances in Flood Risk Assessments for Data-Limited Changing Environments (PAP014415)
María Carolina Rogelis Prada, J. C. Lam, Fernando Ramirez Cortez
Floods in a changing climate
Developing countries have a recognized increasing need for reliable flood risk assessment and demand novel approaches due to the complex and evolving nature of hydrological and socio-economic conditions, limited availability of data, and, in some cases, lack of permanent inter-institutional collaborative arrangements for the assessment of flood risk. In the framework of the Probabilistic Risk Assessment Program at The World Bank, advances have been made in the development of methodologies that allow the estimation of flood risk considering these challenges. The application of one of these methodologies was carried out in the City of Boquete in Panama, where complex orographic, geological, hydrologic and hydrodynamic conditions dominate. In particular, the Caldera River, which crosses Boquete, causes frequent flooding in the urban area of the city. At the same time, the Caldera River Basin is one of the most important economic areas of the region because of its high natural, agricultural and touristic value. The results of the analysis show the need to continue investing in simplified approaches to meet data availability and computer capabilities conditions as well as the value of considering uncertainty into flood risk assessment. The analysis also acknowledges the need to further examine a balanced approach that also integrates additional robust and advanced tools to appropriately take into account the complexity of flood hazard assessment. The Boquete project had the involvement and participation of national and local government agencies in charge of water resources management and engineering, including potential users of the results generated. Therefore, this experience also sought to identify and define collaborative approaches that would lead to the adequate application and communication of risk information and the sustainability of flood risk assessments in Panama.