Since flood disasters still occur and even increase in frequency and severity, flood risk management must be reconsidered. This paper describes a new way of looking at flood risk management by applying a systems approach. This approach may result in flood risk management that is better suited to the socio-economic context in which this flood risk management occurs. The systems approach allows the definition of resilience and resistance strategies for flood risk management. Resistance strategies aim at flood prevention, while resilience strategies aim at minimising flood impacts and enhancing the recovery from those impacts. A resilience strategy is supposed to be able to better cope with uncertainties than a resistance strategy. To enable the evaluation of resilience and resistance strategies under different conditions the concepts of resilience and resistance must first be sufficiently understood. This paper discusses the meaning of resilience and resistance and applies the concepts to flood risk management systems. This discussion is exemplified by The Netherlands' flood risk management.
Research Article|February 01 2004