Floods, droughts, along with other water-related disasters are a number of the costliest natural events that occur in Canada and all over the world. Despite having significant global advances in science and infrastructure made to predict and manage such extreme disasters, many communities still face major societal and economic impacts when these events occur.
In a fresh paper published in Nature, a team of University of Saskatchewan (USask) and international researchers presented their findings from the global investigation to find out gaps in science and policy that want reinforcement to raised protect the planet from droughts and floods.
“Our flood and drought risk management paradigms remain in line with the assumption that days gone by is representative into the future,” said Dr. Saman Razav, Ph.D., a co-employee professor in USask’s School of Environment and Sustainability, the Global Institute for Water Security (GIWS), and the faculty of Engineering in the department of civil, geological and environmental engineering. Razavi led the Canadian contribution to the analysis.
“We know that assumption isn’t valid in the context of flood and drought due to two reasons,” he said. “First, because of climate change, we have been facing more extreme events not seen before, such as for example more serious storms, heat waves, or dry periods. Second, due to significant population growth, urbanization, floodplain settlements, or groundwater extraction, more folks and assets are increasingly being subjected to floods or droughts.”
Forty-five case studies from all over the world were used to judge when, where, and how current risk management strategies might fail, and where potential improvements could possibly be made. The study team assessed floods and droughts that occurred in exactly the same regions as time passes to analyze the way the occurrence of an initial event may affect what sort of second is managed.
The analysis discovered that when two flood or drought events occurred in exactly the same region at different points with time, the next event usually produced worse effects compared to the first, despite having infrastructure and policy changes set up following the first event.
Citation: Researchers explore how floods and droughts are challenging science and society globally (2022, August 4) retrieved 4 August 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-08-explore-droughts-science-society-globally.html
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