The NASA Earth Science Disasters Team attended the Global Flood Risk Workshop held on October 1-3, 2018 in Boulder, CO. The workshop brought together government agencies, humanitarian aid organizations, insurance and re-insurance providers, private sector industries, as well as academic and research institutions from around the world to increase collaboration and improve access to and flow of information around flood risk. Flood risk assessments of both exposure and vulnerability should leverage the best available data- but often those producing or using such assessments are unaware of what is available. The goal of the workshop was to reach a consensus of priority actions as a new Flood Risk Community of Practice (FRCP) to solve the main challenges in flood risk estimation at global scales, and aligning those actions with the goals of GEO Global Flood Risk Monitoring (GEO 2017-2019 Work Programme) and of The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
During the meeting, the following discussions occurred: Status quo - what flood data is out there, what is missing; Flood financing – how best to move towards forecast based financing to assure release of aid in time and to have a proper insurance system in place for flooding; and new technologies – how can online and social media and commercialization of space help in identifying flood risk areas.
Attendees of the workshop identified ways to help everyone better understand and access tools to mitigate flood risk and take action. A long-term objective was defined to develop, test and apply methods to utilize satellite remote sensing and other Earth observations with models and maps to estimate location, intensity and duration of floods globally in real-time and a durable monitoring system of flood risk with climate change.