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jerryking : floods   30

Rising Seas Will Erase More Cities by 2050, New Research Shows - The New York Times
By Denise Lu and Christopher FlavelleOct. 29, 2019

John Wyndham's "Out of the Deeps" (UK version, "The Kraken Wakes") has alarming scenes of London and much of the UK inundated. In that novel, it's aliens, melting the Greenland glaciers.
books  cities  climate_change  coastal  dislocations  extreme_weather_events  floods  flood-risk  flood-risk_maps  floodplains  geopolitical-risk  infrastructure  internal_migration  mass_migrations  population_movements  refugees  sea-level_rise  societal_collapse  weather 
october 2019 by jerryking
What Land Will Be Underwater in 20 Years? Figuring It Out Could Be Lucrative
Feb. 23, 2018 | The New York Times | By Brad Plumer

In Charleston, S.C., where the ports have been expanding to accommodate larger ships sailing through the newly widened Panama Canal, a real-estate developer named Xebec Realty recently went looking for land to build new warehouses and logistics centers.

But first, Xebec had a question: What were the odds that the sites it was considering might be underwater in 10 or 20 years?......Yet detailed information about the city’s climate risks proved surprisingly hard to find. Federal flood maps are based on historical data, and won’t tell you how sea-level rise could exacerbate flooding in the years ahead.....So Xebec turned to a Silicon Valley start-up called Jupiter, which offered to analyze local weather and hydrological data and combine it with climate model projections to assess the potential climate risks Xebec might face in Charleston over the next few decades from things like heavier rainfall, sea level rise or increased storm surge....the reliability of Jupiter's predictive analytics is uncertain....that said, “In economics, information has value if you would make a different decision based on that information,”...... Congress has generally underfunded initiatives such as those at the Federal Emergency Management Agency to incorporate climate change into its federal flood maps.......to get a full picture of flooding risk, you need expertise in weather, but also climate and hydrology and engineering and running complex models on the latest computer hardware,” ... “All of those specialized disciplines are usually heavily siloed within the public sector or the scientific community.”....Jupiter, which acknowledges the uncertainties in climate forecasting, will have to prove that a market exists....flooding and other disasters have led to record losses by insurers.....[Those] losses raised the stakes in terms of trying to get the best possible science on your side when you’re pricing risk,” said John Drzik, president of global risk at Marsh,
climate_change  weather  start_ups  data_driven  forecasting  hard_to_find  predictive_analytics  tools  Charleston  South_Carolina  uncertainty  sea-level_rise  floods  commercial_real_estate  adaptability  specificity  catastrophes  catastrophic_risk  unpredictability  coastal  extreme_weather_events  insurance  FEMA  cartography  floodplains  flood-risk  flood-risk_maps  mapping  historical_data 
february 2018 by jerryking
Water, water, everywhere
Saturday , September /Sunday 3 September 2017 | Financial Times | Sophie Knight.

The Netherlands has been the champion of water management for centuries, battling to keep its low-lying landmass dry. But as extreme weather events and high temperatures outstrip even the most pessimistic predictions, some argue that even the most sophisticated dikes won’t be enough.....
Rotterdam-based architectural studio ZUS, which has developed “Delta 3000”, a plan to transform the lowlands into a hilly sandy landscape. Covering the country in sand would prevent flooding, produce fresh water and create a naturally sustaining ecological system — which ZUS argues is better than the current cost and energy-intensive defence plan against the rising sea. The Netherlands uses a maintenance- intensive system of seawalls, dams, dikes, sluices, pumps and locks to protect the 55 per cent of the country prone to flooding. The government plans to update this system to combat the increased risk of flooding and reduced freshwater availability that they expect to come with climate change.

“[The current system is] artificial and is completely dependent on human intervention and technical adjustments,” says Kristian Koreman, one of the co-founders of ZUS along with Elma van Boxel. “Whereas with the dunes, finally you’re safe: you’re building higher ground.”.....The climate change debate has provoked a paradigm shift in landscape design due to the uncertainties it brings with it. Forced to abandon the notion that nature can be dominated, architects are now seeking to work with nature rather than against it,resurrecting ailing ecosystems or creating new ones to adapt to the future climate. ...
“The only thing that you can know about climate change is that we can’t predict it,” says Koreman. “But what we do know is that the basic codes of the system are not capable of dealing with the new complexity we are dealing with now: more rain, flooding rivers, salinisation, subsidence and migration were not considered when they made the original Delta plan [in the 1950s].”

ZUS’s counter-proposal is to cover the lowlands in sand, with enormous dunes ringing major cities and creating inland beaches next to lakes and canals. The first plan covered the conurbation that includes Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague, but was extended to run up the entire Dutch coast after requests from vulnerable northern provinces.
water  floods  Netherlands  Dutch  water_management  extreme_weather_events  climate_change  resilience  unpredictability  sea-level_rise  human_intervention 
september 2017 by jerryking
A Texas Farmer on Harvey, Bad Planning and Runaway Growth -
AUG. 30, 2017 | The New York Times | By SEAMUS McGRAW.

Seamus McGraw is the author, most recently, of “Betting the Farm on a Drought: Stories From the Front Lines of Climate Change.” He is at work on a new book about water issues in Texas......Haskell Simon...is a man who has, in nine decades in Texas, developed a deep appreciation for the complex interplay between nature and the world we create......The cycles of storms and droughts are...an inevitable fact of life in Texas..... those storms and droughts are still more destructive than they ever were before, simply because there is more to destroy......in the 16 years since Tropical Storm Allison deluged Houston, that city, which famously balks at any kind of zoning regulation, and the surrounding region, which encompasses all or parts of 15 counties, have undergone a period of explosive growth, from 4.8 million people in 2000 to more than 7 million today. Harris County alone, which includes the city of Houston, has grown to 4.6 million, up from 3.4 million.....That’s millions of people guzzling water when times are dry.....A century’s worth of unchecked growth has brought prosperity to many. But it also has altered the landscape in ways that have made both the droughts and the floods more destructive and made that prosperity fleeting. Much of the region sits atop the overtaxed Gulf Coast Aquifer, and though efforts have made over the last 40 years to limit withdrawals from it, enough water has been sucked out of it that the ground still subsides in some places, altering runoff patterns and allowing flood waters to gather.

What’s more, those more than 2 million newcomers to the region are living in houses and driving on roads and shopping in stores built atop what once was prairie that could have absorbed at least some of the fury of this flood and the next. What once was land that might have softened the storm’s blow is now, in many cases, collateral damage in what could turn out to be a $40 billion disaster.....take a moment to consider how best to rebuild, to pause and rethink how and where we build, to reflect not just on whether we’re altering the weather, but whether there is a way to make ourselves less vulnerable to it. Perhaps we could build differently, or set aside land that would both help recharge the dwindling water supplies in times of drought and slow the floods when they come.
adaptability  climate_change  extreme_weather_events  floods  water  resilience  sustainability  Texas  Houston  natural_calamities  disasters  Hurricane_Harvey  land_uses  droughts  books  collateral_damage  buffering  zoning 
september 2017 by jerryking
Port Lands: $1.2b of Trilateral Funding Unlocks Revitalization | Urban Toronto
June 28, 2017 3:50 pm | by Stefan Novakovic.

Three levels of government are committing $1.185 billion of new funding to remake what Waterfront Toronto describes as "one of North America's largest underused urban areas." The investment will fund the much-needed Port Lands Flood Protection Project (PLFPP), unlocking the ambitious reinvention of the 365 hectare (880 acre) Port Lands.

While the mostly vacant and partly de-industrialized Port Lands have long been fodder for blue-sky thinking—once touted as the site of a potential Olympic bid, and more recently Expo 2025—some 290 hectares (715 acres) of the area are currently at risk of flooding. Any visions of the future are contingent on the funding that was finally secured today. Joined by Mayor John Tory and Premier Kathleen Wynne, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau lead the way in announcing a Federal contribution of up to $384 million......Two new naturalized outlets for the Don River will be created, with the waterway—surrounded by the river beds' flood-protecting greenery—carving out the new Villiers Island, which is envisioned as a dense urban entry point to the Port Lands.

Alongside the naturalized river beds, 13 acres of wetlands will be introduced throughout the Port Lands, creating a resilient and sustainable urban environment. In total, 29 hectares of naturalized greens are are planned—including coastal wetlands—as well as 16 acres of parkland, and 14 acres of in-water aquatic habitat. The new waterways will also add 1,000 metres of naturalized river.
Waterfront_Toronto  revitalization  waterfronts  John_Tory  Justin_Trudeau  Kathleen_Wynne  Toronto  floods  Don_River  Port_Lands  wetlands  flood_protection  property_development 
june 2017 by jerryking
The Dutch Have Solutions to Rising Seas. The World Is Watching. - The New York Times
By MICHAEL KIMMELMAN, Photographs by JOSH HANER
JUNE 15, 2017

Mr. Ovink is the country’s globe-trotting salesman in chief for Dutch expertise on rising water and climate change. Like cheese in France or cars in Germany, climate change is a business in the Netherlands. Month in, month out, delegations from as far away as Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City, New York and New Orleans make the rounds in the port city of Rotterdam. They often end up hiring Dutch firms, which dominate the global market in high-tech engineering and water management.....From a Dutch mind-set, climate change is not a hypothetical or a drag on the economy, but an opportunity.....the Dutch strategy is It is, in essence, to let water in, where possible, not hope to subdue Mother Nature: to live with the water, rather than struggle to defeat it. The Dutch devise lakes, garages, parks and plazas that are a boon to daily life but also double as enormous reservoirs for when the seas and rivers spill over. You may wish to pretend that rising seas are a hoax perpetrated by scientists and a gullible news media. Or you can build barriers galore. But in the end, neither will provide adequate defense, the Dutch say.

“A smart city has to have a comprehensive, holistic vision beyond levees and gates,” as Arnoud Molenaar, the city’s climate chief, put it. “The challenge of climate adaptation is to include safety, sewers, housing, roads, emergency services. You need public awareness. You also need cyber-resilience, because the next challenge in climate safety is cybersafety. You can’t have vulnerable systems that control your sea gates and bridges and sewers. And you need good policies, big and small.

And what holds true for managing climate change applies to the social fabric, too. Environmental and social resilience should go hand in hand, officials here believe, improving neighborhoods, spreading equity and taming water during catastrophes. Climate adaptation, if addressed head-on and properly, ought to yield a stronger, richer state......the Dutch view: “We have been able to put climate change adaptation high on the public agenda without suffering a disaster in many years because we have shown the benefits of improving public space — the added economic value of investing in resilience.

“It’s in our genes,” he said. “Water managers were the first rulers of the land. Designing the city to deal with water was the first task of survival here and it remains our defining job. It’s a process, a movement.

“It is not just a bunch of dikes and dams, but a way of life.”
adaptability  climate_change  Dutch  floods  industry_expertise  Netherlands  opportunities  resilience  Rotterdam  sea-level_rise  sustainability  smart_cities  social_fabric 
june 2017 by jerryking
Insurers must do more to educate Canadians about flood risk - The Globe and Mail
ROB WESSELING
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, May 29, 2017
floods  insurance  Canadian  risks 
may 2017 by jerryking
Flood. Rinse. Repeat: The costly cycle that must end
May 07, 2017 | The Globe and Mail |GLENN MCGILLIVRAY, managing director, Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction

Once again, homes located alongside a Canadian river have flooded, affected homeowners are shocked, the local government is wringing its hands, the respective provincial government is ramping up to provide taxpayer-funded disaster assistance and the feds are deploying the Armed Forces.

In Canada, it is the plot of the movie Groundhog Day, or the definition of insanity attributed to Albert Einstein: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.....First, a homeowner locates next to the river, oftentimes because of the view (meaning a personal choice is being made). Many of these homes are of high value.

Then the snow melts, the ice jams or the rain falls and the flood comes. Often, as is the case now, the rain is characterized by the media as being incredible, far outside the norm. Then a scientific or engineering analysis later shows that what happened was not very exceptional.

These events are not caused by the rain, they are caused by poor land-use decisions, among other public-policy foibles. This is what is meant when some say there are no such things as natural catastrophes, only man-made disasters.

Finally, the province steps in with disaster assistance then seeks reimbursement from the federal government through the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements. In any case, whether provincial or federal, taxpayers are left holding the bag.....So what is the root of the problem? Though complex problems have complex causes and complex solutions, one of the causes is that the party making the initial decision to allow construction (usually the local government) is not the party left holding the bag when the flood comes.

Just as homeowners have skin in the game through insurance deductibles and other measures, local governments need a financial disincentive to act in a risky manner. At present, municipalities face far more upside risk than downside risk when it comes to approving building in high-risk hazard zones. When the bailout comes from elsewhere, there is no incentive to make the right decision – the lure of an increased tax base and the desire not to anger local voters is all too great.

Reducing natural disaster losses in Canada means breaking the cycle – taking a link out of the chain of events that leads to losses.

Local governments eager for growth and the tax revenue that goes with it need to hold some significant portion of the downside risk in order to give them pause for thought.
floods  catastrophes  natural_calamities  design  insurance  public_policy  disasters  relief_recovery_reconstruction  sustainability  municipalities  skin_in_the_game  disincentives  Albert_Einstein  complex_problems  land_uses  moral_hazards  man-made  hazards  downside_risks 
may 2017 by jerryking
IS THE CITY REALLY SINKING? – Kaieteur News
Jan 19, 2017

Many believe that the kind of flooding the country has experienced in recent years is related to issues connected to global warming. It is also known that the current drainage structure in Georgetown and the coastal plain cannot cope with the intensity and volume of rainfall.
The government owes it to the people to develop both short-term and long-term strategies to solve the problem. It should contract specialists in the field to increase the capacity of the current drainage structure in Georgetown and the coastal plain in order to absorb the volume of water from heavy rainfall. The specialists should also provide advice as to the viability of existence of Georgetown, which according to experts is sinking. The pertinent questions would be: What kind of drainage system is needed to ensure the survival of the people in the most fertile part of Guyana? And, more importantly, is the city really sinking?
Georgetown  Guyana  floods  climate_change  Dutch  French  British  history 
january 2017 by jerryking
A superpark hides in Toronto’s Don Valley, waiting to be discovered - The Globe and Mail
ALEX BOZIKOVIC
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Apr. 15, 2016

historian Jennifer L. Bonnell wrote in her 2014 book Reclaiming the Don.

A few small moves would get it in motion. Proponents envision new bike lanes on Bayview Avenue that would make it less terrifying to go there on two wheels. An old rail trestle would become a pedestrian bridge. New bridges, stairs and paths would welcome people from Cabbagetown and from Regent Park, from Corktown and the emerging neighbourhoods in and around the Port Lands.

But in the longer term, the plan would mean combining two rail corridors, both controlled by Metrolinx, reconfiguring the DVP ramp to Bloor-Bayview and removing a city works yard that now sits in the middle of the valley. But governments are budgeting at least $1-billion for roads, water, parks and rail improvements in this zone, including the electrification of GO’s train lines and the Gardiner Expressway rebuild. The river is unruly, prone to powerful floods; a thoughtful, coherent landscape would mitigate the risks for infrastructure and serve the environment of the valley.
books  Brickworks  Cabbagetown  Corktown  design  Don_River  DVP  Evergreen  floodplains  floods  Gardiner_Expressway  GO  green_spaces  history  landscapes  Metrolinx  neighbourhoods  parks  Port_Lands  railways  ravines  regeneration  Regent_Park  small_moves  sustainability  Toronto  undervalued 
april 2016 by jerryking
Ideas worth floating: architects adapt to rising sea levels - FT.com
March 4, 2016 |FT| Nicola Davison.

.....As authorities around the world scramble to build so-called “resiliency” to the rising sea, Dutch architects are providing guidance. “In the Netherlands we are living in a completely artificial world,” says Koen Olthuis, founder of Waterstudio.nl, a practice that specialises in “amphibious” architecture. “If you just drive round Holland, you don’t see it, but if you know where to look, it’s all levees. It’s like a machine and if you stopped pumping 24/7, the water would rise within weeks.”....Since 1900, however, the oceans have risen; the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggests that the average global sea level could rise more than a metre by 2100.

Higher seas mean Hurricane Sandy-like storm “surges” will hit coastal cities more frequently, while oceans will inundate low-lying areas from the Maldives to Miami. The OECD estimates that by 2070 $35tn worth of property in some of the world’s largest port cities will be at risk of flooding — though insurers will stop selling policies and banks will stop writing mortgages for seafront homes long before then.
The Netherlands began investing in water-resistant infrastructure...Dutch cities have also waterproofed. ...Rather than “fighting” the water with barriers and pumps, planners and architects are beginning to think cities should embrace the water....Climate scientists have different ideas about how quickly the sea around New York will rise, but rocks can be added to the breakwater to raise its height. Scape tries to build “flexible systems that can adapt”, says Elachi. “A lot of this is because we are designing for uncertainty.”
architecture  floods  sustainability  climate_change  Netherlands  resilience  adaptability  uncertainty  sea-level_rise 
april 2016 by jerryking
Emergency planning: Flood warning — new data help predict risk - FT.com
September 4, 2015 4:42 pm
Emergency planning: Flood warning — new data help predict risk
Clive Cookson

Historical information can be a practical tool for planning responses to future emergencies....KnowNow Information, a spinout from computing giant IBM, has produced a prototype “flood event model” for Hampshire. Working with the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Hartree supercomputing centre in Daresbury, Cheshire, its team crunched a vast accumulation of data — about water falling from the sky and lying on the ground, geology and landforms, urban geography and infrastructure, as well as past emergencies.
floods  massive_data_sets  history  extreme_weather_events  natural_calamities  data  data_driven  warning_signs  emergencies  anticipating  preparation 
september 2015 by jerryking
Shelters from the storm: Preparing cities for a changing climate – before it’s too late - The Globe and Mail
ALEX BOZIKOVIC
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jul. 17, 2015

Rising sea levels, epic droughts, massive flooding: the effects of climate change are already here. How do we adapt? From the Netherlands to Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Alex Bozikovic explores the cutting-edge engineering – and cultural shifts – that could help
New_York_City  climate_change  cities  Hurricane_Sandy  floods  future-proofing  insurance  public_policy  disasters  Dutch  relief_recovery_reconstruction  FEMA  sustainability  natural_calamities  sea-level_rise 
july 2015 by jerryking
Hazel's legacy: a city of green - The Globe and Mail
JOHN ALLEMANG
From Saturday's Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Oct. 09 2004
legacies  Toronto  history  parks  ravines  natural_calamities  Don_River  floods  Hurricane_Hazel 
september 2014 by jerryking
The Netherlands Looks to Big Data to Tackle Flooding - Tech Europe - WSJ
June 25, 2013 | WSJ |By BEN ROONEY.

IBM Inc.IBM -0.05%, has just landed a €1 million ($1.3 million) ‘big data’ research project in the country to bring together disparate data sources related to water to help the authorities plan reactions to deluges, monitor water quality, improve internal navigation — in short pretty much anything to do with water in the country.

The program is in collaboration with Rijkswaterstaat (the Dutch Ministry for Water), local Water Authority Delfland, Deltares Science Institute and the University of Delft.

The project, named Digital Delta, will investigate how to integrate and analyze water data from a wide range of existing data sources. These include precipitation measurements, water level and water quality monitors, levee sensors, radar data, model predictions as well current and historic maintenance data from sluices, pumping stations, locks and dams
Netherlands  massive_data_sets  floods  IBM  data 
june 2014 by jerryking
How to keep Toronto’s storm sewers from flooding? Bring the rivers back - The Globe and Mail
AMANDA KWAN

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Friday, Jul. 19 2013

vanishingpoint.ca
floods  Toronto  parks  history  daylighting 
july 2013 by jerryking
Record rains cause heavy flooding in Toronto - The Globe and Mail
VIDYA KAURI AND KALEIGH ROGERS

The Globe and Mail

Published Monday, Jul. 08 2013,
Toronto  weather  floods 
july 2013 by jerryking
Bloomberg Outlines $20 Billion Storm Protection Plan - NYTimes.com
By MARC SANTORA and KIA GREGORY
Published: June 11, 2013
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg outlined a far-reaching plan on Tuesday to protect New York from the threat of rising sea levels and powerful storm surges by building an extensive network of flood walls, levees and bulkheads to guard much of the city’s 520 miles of coastline.
The cost of fortifying critical infrastructure like the power grid, retrofitting older buildings to withstand powerful storms, and defending the coastline was estimated to be $20 billion, according to a 430-page report outlining the proposals.
New_York_City  Michael_Bloomberg  floods  climate_change  power_grid  infrastructure  vulnerabilities  business-continuity  sea-level_rise 
june 2013 by jerryking
As Coasts Rebuild and U.S. Pays, Repeatedly, the Critics Ask Why - NYTimes.com
By JUSTIN GILLIS and FELICITY BARRINGER
Published: November 18, 2012

Across the nation, tens of billions of tax dollars have been spent on subsidizing coastal reconstruction in the aftermath of storms, usually with little consideration of whether it actually makes sense to keep rebuilding in disaster-prone areas. If history is any guide, a large fraction of the federal money allotted to New York, New Jersey and other states recovering from Hurricane Sandy — an amount that could exceed $30 billion — will be used the same way.

Tax money will go toward putting things back as they were, essentially duplicating the vulnerability that existed before the hurricane.... Lately, scientists, budget-conscious lawmakers and advocacy groups across the political spectrum have argued that these subsidies waste money, put lives at risk and make no sense in an era of changing climate and rising seas.

Some of them contend that reconstruction money should be tightly coupled with requirements that coastal communities begin reducing their vulnerability in the short run and that towns along shorelines facing the largest risks make plans for withdrawal over the long term. ... local governments have tried to use the money to reduce their vulnerability to future disasters, but they complain that they often run into bureaucratic roadblocks with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

For instance, after flooding from Hurricane Irene washed out many culverts in Vermont last year, many towns built bigger culverts to handle future floods. But they are still fighting with the agency over reimbursement.

W. Craig Fugate, the agency’s administrator, acknowledged in an interview that “as a nation, we have not yet figured out” how to use federal incentives to improve resiliency and discourage excessive risks.
floods  floodplains  flood-risk  insurance  public_policy  Hurricane_Sandy  disasters  relief_recovery_reconstruction  FEMA  sustainability  sea-level_rise  coastal 
november 2012 by jerryking

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