Urban Flooding: Status of Sediment Management Strategies in Tropical Regions


Urban flooding is a recurrent issue in Indian cities, exacerbated during the monsoon seasons. The recent impact of cyclone Michaung in Chennai, which led to approximately 400 mm of rainfall in two days, acts reminiscent of the 2015 floods, which killed more than 300 people. The influx of people from rural areas, unplanned urbanisation, and encroachment on water bodies contribute to the widespread destruction of the water drainage systems. Surprisingly, conventional urban planning often overlooks sediment transport and management. The continuous, unregulated development of natural resources persists in 2023. Moreover, the specific characteristics of tropical regions, especially in the Indian Ocean area, significantly influence the effectiveness of urban planning and sediment management. This research note emphasises the need for localised plans in the Indian Ocean tropics to address urban flooding, considering unique socio-economic conditions. It underscores the importance of sediment management in urban planning and advocates for an integrated approach to enhance management strategies.

Romit Kaware, Research Intern, MRC

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