Flood Management in GBM Basin - Hrdp

Flood Management in GBM Basin: A
Mechanism for Natural Resource
Management Between Co-riparians
Priyanka Mallick
GBM River Basin
Floods in GBM
Existing Mechanism
Regional Cooperation
• Flooding is a normal seasonal inundation of floodplain to
which traditional settlements, infrastructure and land use
are well adapted.
• It plays a major role in replenishing freshwater
resources, recharging wetlands and groundwater and
supporting agriculture and fishery systems, thereby
making flood plains preferred areas for human
settlement and various economic activities.
• However, floods have negative impacts on lives,
livelihoods and economic activities and in extreme cases
cause devastation.
• Flood disasters are among the world’s most frequent and
damaging types of disasters.
• The South Asia region is drained by the Ganga,
Brahmaputra and Meghana river system, is one of the
largest flood prone region in the world.
• All the countries in the region are low-income economies
and their efforts towards economic growth have always
been thwarted by recurrent natural disasters like floods.
GBM River Basin
• This region has considerable water resources potential
which can be used for multipurpose beneficial uses like
irrigation, hydropower generation, flood control etc.
• But ironically this region also constitute the most poor
population of the world.
• The social indicators like economic growth, education, and
health is also very disappointing.
• With the increasing population and massive deforestation
flood hazard has become a regular phenomena in this
• With the changing man-nature relationship, the poor and
vulnerable section of the society are worse affected.
Spatial variation in precipitation
over the GBM basin
Causes of Flood
• The first cause is related with intra regional like high
intensity rainfall, cloud burst, erosion of river bank and
• The other important cause is very much related with the
regional perspective. As lower riparian country is subject
to run-off from upper catchment area after heavy rainfall
and snowmelt. Bangladesh is most vulnerable to this
kind of disasters.
• Recent emerging reason is the effect of climate change
and sea level rise in the low land areas of India and
Bangladesh lies on the great delta of GBM basin is most
vulnerable while constitute only 7% of the total
catchment area of GBM river system.
Catchment areas of the GBM River
Measures Undertaken
• Structural Measures
• Non-Structural Measures
• There are several existing mechanism for flood
management, but mostly with the country specific like
Rashtriya Barh Aayog(1980) and Brahmaputra Board
was constituted in India.
• In Bangladesh Flood Action Plan was started in 1992 but
could not achieve much success.
• In Nepal also flood forecasting and warning was initiated
in 1988 with Indian assistance.
Integrated Flood Management
Elements of IFM
Manage the water cycle as a whole
Integrate land and water management
Adopt a best mix of strategies
Ensure a participatory approach
Adopt integrated hazard management
Regional Cooperation
• GBM basin is spread in more than one country so an
effective flood management strategy is essential.
• Floods and erosion originating in one part of the region
may greatly affect another.
• Vast hydropower potential exists in one country but its
market lies in the others.
• There is an existing mechanism between India and
Bangladesh in the form of the Indo-Bangladesh Joint
Rivers Commission and Mahakali between India and
Nepal. However several other issues are still unresolved.
• The existing flood forecasting and warning capacity of
Bangladesh could be more effective if real-time data
Regional Cooperation
could be acquired from upstream areas within the GBM
catchment, where runoff is generated.
• There is need to go beyond the structural measures and
should take into account the social, economic, political
and institutional dimensions through international
• India has some limited arrangements on data sharing
with neighbours.
• Individual efforts of each country to mitigate the flood
hazards by adopting preventive measures by way of
both structural as well as non-structural measures did
not prove much effective.
Regional Cooperation
• An urgent requirement is the development of enduring
institutional capacity between the GBM nations to
generate adequate knowledge about water sector.
• This is likely to achieved only through independent and
non profit institutions, including universities and research
• A region-wide integrated approach based on
comprehensive data sharing and joint modeling and
scenario development efforts among the GBM countries
should be highly useful in managing floods and
mitigating its impacts in all the regional countries.
Thank You !

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