Water is life. But water is also a threat to life. During the past decade, the risks from water-related disasters are increasing and hamper sustainable development by causing political, social, and economic upheaval in many countries. Water-related disasters, such as floods, droughts, storm surges and tsunamis, account for 90% of all disasters in terms of number of people affected.
The issue of “water and disasters” must be addressed if we hope to make sustainable development a reality. We must share our experiences and lessons learned, strengthen regional coordination and collaboration, and set common goals and targets in order to lay a foundation for weathering the water-related disasters to come, and make progress towards creating a better-prepared and more resilient society. All these elements should be translated into clear-cut messages and practical advice for decision makers to create effective policies and mechanisms that address water and disaster issues appropriately at all levels.
The High Level Experts and Leaders Panel on Water and Disasters (HELP) was established to assist the international community, governments and stakeholders in mobilizing political will and resources. It promotes actions to raise awareness, ensure coordination and collaboration, establish common goals and targets, monitor progress, and take effective measures aimed at addressing the issues of water and disasters. Members of HELP solicited the 10 case studies on water and disasters that form this book.
In Focus – a book series that showcases the latest accomplishments in water research. Each book focuses on a specialist area with papers from top experts in the field. It aims to be a vehicle for in-depth understanding and inspire further conversations in the sector.