Resilience and flood risk management

A systems approach applied to lowland rivers


De Bruijn, K.M.

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Delft University Press



Floods still cause lots of damage and many casualties although people have tried to reduce flood impacts for many centuries. Flood impacts may even increase in the future due to population growth and climate change. In order to reduce flood impacts, current flood risk management strategies need to be reconsidered.

In the Netherlands, policy makers propose to increase the resilience of systems, since scientists expect resilient systems to be able to cope better with disturbances such as flood waves. In the policy documents on water management, however, 'resilience' and 'resilient water systems' are not clearly defined. 'Resilience' has a positive connotation although it is difficult to explain what the positive aspects of resilient systems for water management are exactly.

In this thesis this positive connotation of resilience was verified for the flood risk management of lowland rivers. The objective was to establish whether applying the resilience concept facilitates the development of comprehensive strategies for flood risk management of large lowland river systems.