Surat, a city in western India and home to 4.4 million inhabitants, knows all too well the devastating impacts floods can have on people, the economy and the urban environment.
Since 1979, there have been five major floods in Surat. The most sever of which occurred in 2006 when 75 % of the city was flooded after an emergency release of the Ukai dam, affecting 3 million people.
This infographic explores the approach Surat adopted to manage flood risks. Such approaches will be critical for many cities across Asia as climate variability increases.
Through an ACCCRN project, the city has now built a new coordination mechanism involving 13 departments across city, state and national jurisdictions, with a new reservoir management protocol in place. These measures helped the city prevent severe flooding in 2013 despite equally heavy rainfall.
One of the key take home messages from this infographic is that resilience can be significantly enhanced without large investments in physical infrastructure.
To learn more about the experiences and lessons learned by Surat, ACCCRN and its partners have a range of resources available. These include:
- Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN): Responding to the Urban Climate Challenge. Eds. ISET, Boulder, Colorado, USA, 60 pp. http://seachangecop.org/sites/default/files/documents/2009%2011%20ISET%20ACCCRN%20Responding%20to%20the%20urban%20climate%20challenge.pdf
- Bhat, G.K., Karanth, A., Dashora, L. and Rajasekar, U. (2013). Addressing flooding in the city of Surat beyond its boundaries. Environment and Urbanization October 2013 v25 (2) p429-441. http://eau.sagepub.com/content/25/2/429.full.pdf+html
- Sharma, D., Singh, R. and Singh, R. (2014). Building urban climate resilience: learning from the ACCCRN experience in India, International Journal of Urban Sustainable Development, v6 (2), p133-153. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19463138.2014.937720