New Initiative to Assess Flood Risks

New Initiative to Assess Current and Future Flood Risks

The World Resources Institute (WRI), Deltares and three other Dutch research organizations launched a four-year initiative yesterday at the UN Climate Summit in New York.

This initiative is supported by the Government of the Netherlands, that will assess flood risks and recommend practical steps to reduce these risks in different geographic and socio-economic settings globally.

Aqueduct Flood Analyzer: free available

The first phase of the project, set to launch later this year, will be the Aqueduct Flood Analyzer, a first-of-its-kind freely available, open-source analytical tool that will reveal the potential human and economic impacts of current and future flood risks worldwide.

Flooding threatened more than 100 million people in 2013 alone,” said Andrew Steer, President & CEO, WRI. “This initiative will offer world-class information to help decision makers respond to this profound and growing risk, which disproportionately affects the world’s poorest communities.”

In 2005, according to the OECD, 40 million people and $3 trillion—5 percent of global GDP—were exposed to serious floods in port cities. That number is expected to increase to 150 million people and $35 trillion, or 9 percent of global GDP, by 2070.

Potential to strengthen the resilience and security of worldwide communities

We are honored to support WRI and our partner network to share the Netherlands’ world-leading flood risk assessment and intervention capacity with the world,” said Wilma Mansveld, Minister of the Environment of The Netherlands. “The forthcoming flood analyzer has the potential to strengthen the resilience and security of communities worldwide—especially for the world’s most impoverished and vulnerable people.

For finance ministers, state water resource managers and mayors

The forthcoming Flood Analyzer is expected to reach decision makers on national, state, and municipal levels. Finance ministers, state water resources managers, mayors, and others will have easy access to reliable estimates of potential damages from river floods and coastal storm surges, as well as costs and benefits of a broad range of response options.

This initiative has tremendous capacity to motivate investments that reduce disaster risks,” said Charles Iceland, Senior Manager, Aqueduct. “But we will only make a difference if we work closely and persistently with the government, business, and non-profit users who need this information most.”


The initiative is a collaboration among the World Resources Institute, Deltares, VU University Amsterdam, Utrecht University, and PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, supported by the Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment.

The flood analyzer will be implemented in conjunction with the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities.

Press Release, September 24, 2014