Water Resources Research Report



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An exhaustive knowledge of flood risk, vulnerability and exposure in different spatial locations is essential for developing an effective flood mitigation strategy for a watershed. In the present study, a flood risk-vulnerability analysis is performed. All four components of flood vulnerability: (a) physical; (b) economic; (c) infrastructure and (d) social, are evaluated individually using a Geographic Information System (GIS) environment. The proposed methodology estimates the impact on infrastructure vulnerability due to inundation of critical facilities, emergency service stations, and road bridges. The components of vulnerability are combined to determine the overall vulnerability. The patterns of land use and soil type are considered as two major components of flood exposure. Flood hazard maps, overall vulnerability and exposure are used to finally compute the flood risk at different locations in the watershed. The proposed methodology is implemented to six major damage centers in the Upper Thames River watershed, located in south-western Ontario of Canada to assess the flood risk. A web-based information system is developed for systematic presentation of the flood risk, vulnerability and exposures by postal code regions or Forward Sortation Areas (FSAs). The system is designed to provide support for different users, i.e., general public, decision-makers and water management professionals. An interactive analysis tool is developed within the web-based information system to assist in evaluation of the flood risk in response to a change in land use pattern.

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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of Western Ontario


London, Ontario, Canada


Vulnerability analysis, Flood risk, Web-based information system, Flood management, GIS


Civil and Environmental Engineering


Report no.: 057

Physical, Economical, Infrastructural and Social Flood Risk -- Vulnerability Analyses in GIS