Journal of Flood Risk Management: Editorial
Article first published online: 12 FEB 2008
© 2008 The Authors. Journal Compilation © 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Journal of Flood Risk Management
Volume 1, Issue 1, pages 1–2, May 2008
How to Cite
Balmforth, D. (2008), Journal of Flood Risk Management: Editorial. Journal of Flood Risk Management, 1: 1–2. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-318X.2008.00001.x
- Issue published online: 12 FEB 2008
- Article first published online: 12 FEB 2008
From the dawn of civilisation, society has been affected by floods. Communities established near rivers and along the coast have been particularly affected. As civilisation has developed, it has adapted to flooding, making buildings resistant to flooding and protecting communities with flood defences. Yet even the most highly developed parts of the world are still at risk from devastating floods today.
There is no shortage of examples of such devastation in recent history. In 2007, flooding destroyed 250000 homes in Bangladesh, leaving communities cut off from supplies. There was total loss of that year's harvest and the food relief requirements were estimated at 4 to 5 million tonnes. In September 2007, 17 countries in Africa were inundated by floods leaving a death toll exceeding 200. At the start of 2008, floods swept across Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi, displacing tens of thousands of people, destroying crops and livestock, and killing over 40 people.
It can be argued that the developed world is more resilient to flooding, yet in 2006, 80% of the land area of New Orleans was inundated by floodwater as a result of hurricane Katrina. 59 bodies were recovered from the flood waters but the death toll is thought to be significantly higher. In 2007 England suffered severe flooding across much of the country following the wettest three month summer period in 250 years. 48000 homes were damaged and 13 people lost their lives. It is not surprising, therefore, that flood risk management is fast becoming one of the most important facets of modern civilisation. Moreover, as anyone involved with climate change prediction will tell you, the current scenarios for longer term weather trends are likely to push flooding even further up the agenda.
Early scientific studies focussed on weather measurement and simple forecasting. As the understanding of river conveyance developed, early engineers were able to form a picture of the factors influencing fluvial flooding. Safe navigation relied on an understanding of sea currents and the tides, and this in turn created an opportunity to better understand coastal flood risk and erosion.
From these early starts, the science and engineering surrounding river and coastal flooding has grown enormously, so that today we have sophisticated and reliable tools for forecasting fluvial and coastal flooding. Groundwater flooding and localised pluvial flooding have also become better understood, and the complexity of flooding in dense urban areas is now being successfully tackled. However, the development of these disciplines, and the publication of their works, has largely been associated with the more generic disciplines of civil and hydraulic engineering, hydrology, geo-morphology and hydrodynamics.
In recent years, the development of these more traditional disciplines into the wider area of flood risk management has accelerated. The advent of the digital computer has provided a basis for modelling the complex physical processes of meteorology, climatology, hydrology, channel hydraulics, and overland flow, which primarily influence flooding. Development in terrain data collection and GIS has opened up opportunities for consequence modelling and mapping. The wider social, economic and health aspects of flooding, so graphically illustrated by recent flood events, have now become part of the tool kit used to manage flood risk. The importance of effective disaster management and flood recovery has been more than adequately illustrated, as has the underlying requirement of policy, legislation and governance. Flood risk management has indeed developed into a discipline in its own right.
It is surprising, therefore, that no one journal has yet been dedicated to the successful development of flood risk management. Fortunately this is now addressed through the exciting joint initiative of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management and Wiley-Blackwell. The new Journal of Flood Risk Management provides the ideal forum for academics, professionals, practitioners, and policy makers, to share knowledge and promote their work. It will ensure quality, breadth, balance and a true international context through a panel of editors and an editorial board consisting of those at the highest level of their profession. All manuscripts will be subjected to independent peer review, and a thorough and timely review process will be assured through Manuscript Central, a web based manuscript management system.
Potential authors are encouraged to submit high quality manuscripts in any aspect of flood risk management, but particularly in the following areas:-
Land Use Management
Policy & Legislation
Uncertainty Analysis and Risk
Environment (Geomorphology, Sediments, Habitat)
Health & Social Aspects of Flooding
The Journal will seek especially to publish inter-disciplinary papers that bring the component disciplines of flood risk management together into integrated risk-based approaches to the sustainable management of floods.
Where conferences are being organised in an area of flood risk management, or in a related field, organisers are encouraged to contact the publishers about publication of selected papers, groups of papers, or the publication of a special edition.
We look forward to receiving your enquiries and manuscripts.