Global Historical Flood Record
Coordinator: UNISDR and CIMA Research Foundation International
Recording the occurrence and impact of floods with enough detail to understand flood risk, be it imminent risk for early warning or medium term risk for planning, is challenging. Starting from existing global and regional archives (including the Dartmouth Flood Observatory record), the partnership will develop and maintain a better historic flood record based on best practices (e.g. standards for recording disaster losses) to describe and record floods and their associated losses.
Flood records reporting flood footprint and estimated frequency of occurrence as well as losses are the first step of risk assessment. At the moment, there is no global archive with information that is accurate and detailed enough for global flood modelling and risk assessment. This component of the global Flood Partnership aims at establishing such a record of historical floods and updating it continuously with current floods. In addition, a common database on flood protection measures, basin management practices and other elements to may influence flood routing is not existing, and will be collectively built in this component.
There is a close link with the Flood Toolbox and the Flood Observatory component: models, data and services provided by the Flood Toolbox can be implemented to develop hazard maps on a global scale as a complement to the forecast flood scenarios obtained by the Flood Observatory. As this application has a less stringent time constraint with respect to Flood Forecast and Monitoring, a higher detail in the maps produced could be reached and influence of climate change can be studied on a global scale.
Beneficiaries of the Partnership can use such footprint maps and loss data in combination with exposure and vulnerability studies and datasets as input to models, and in turn risk information to decision makers in mid- and long-term planning to support policies and strategies for disaster risk reduction at national and global levels (e.g. for the Global Assessment Report of UNISDR), as well as in real-time in the preparedness, response and early recovery phases.