WaterTalk: We fail on the estimation of flood hazards; reflections on the July 2021 floods in Central Europe

Wednesday, May 1, 2024 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm EDT (GMT -04:00)
May 1 WaterTalk

As part of the Water Institute's WaterTalks lecture series, Dr. Mário Franca, Professor, Institute for Water and Environment - Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, will present: We fail on the estimation of flood hazards; reflections on the July 2021 floods in Central Europe.

This event is in person in DC 1302 with a reception to follow in DC 1301 (The Fishbowl).

More Information

The European Floods Directive, which guides European governmental agencies and practitioners in flood risk management, suggests timidly the consideration of transported sediments and debris in flood risk assessment. Consequently, flood risk assessment is mainly made just in terms of water surface level and some consideration of flow velocity. Based on an analysis of the unfortunate flood events occurred in July 2021 in Northwestern Germany, and considering the demands which post-Anthropocene will bring in terms of extreme weather events, we reflect on which evolution is needed to better evaluate flood hazards. From our experience, we argue that further consideration is needed to: the constant changing boundaries of river systems at multiple time scales; (natural and anthropogenic) sediment and debris which are as hazardous as water; complex hydrodynamic processes and landscape singularities. This presentation does not approach flood emergency governance and planning, which may be as important as the aspects herein raised to ensure the safety of river dwellers against inundations.

Speaker Bio

Prof Franca

Mário Franca is Professor of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. Before joining KIT, he was Full Professor at TU Delft, UNESCO-IHE Delft, and held senior academic positions at EPFLausanne, New University of Lisbon and University of Coimbra. He has dedicated his research efforts mainly on studying the mechanics of flowing water and its interactions with riverine non-organic, organic and anthropic elements. His research interests include flood hazard and risk analysis, safety of hydraulic structures, river engineering and restoration, turbulent processes in open channel flows, fluvial hydro-morphodynamics, density currents and non-conventional hydropower production. He has more than 25 years of experience as consultant in hydraulic engineering, having participated and directed applied projects on emergency planning for natural and dambreak floods, dam design, hydropower, water supply, river engineering and safety of hydraulic infrastructures. He is an active member of IAHR, EGU and AGU and he is Associate Editor from Water Resources Research (AGU) since 2016.