Tools for Integrated Flood Management 


What are IFM Tools and why are they important?

Integrated Flood Management (IFM) requires various specialists to work together under a joint flood management strategy or policy. While the overall aims and objectives of such policy are usually explicitly provided, the consequences for the application of various principles are far less understood. In this context flood management tools could be described as any methodology or instrument to facilitate the application of these principles of multi-disciplinary and participatory decision making in their pursuit to provide integrated and sustainable flood management solutions. Therefore, the Associated Programme on Flood Management (APFM) is making an effort to provide guidance tools for flood managers and various other specialists working in flood management.

These tools are set under the umbrella of the “Flood Management Tools Series" They are intended to help gain quick access to relevant technical guidance over the internet. The guidance contained in these tools is intended to clarify the role and context of IFM in applying specific tools. The Tools seek to incorporate various relevant materials previously scattered over the Internet and other sources.

The compilation of the tools is an ongoing process and as such these tools should be considered as a living draft. They will be periodically updated based on sharing experiences with the readers. See below for details.

Which Tools are already available?

Following tools are available for your use and inputs (click below to read the individual tools):

  Flood emergency planning - NEW
  This tool provides basic information on preparation and implementation of flood emergency management, which breaks down into three stages: preparedness, response, and recovery. By reducing exposure to flooding at each stage, flood emergency management contributes to flood risk reduction, which is an important objective of IFM. To this end, flood hazard maps help users understand hazard information through the process of planning, preparing and responding to flood. Emergency exercises (e.g. role playing drill) also strengthen stakeholders' capacity to smoothly conduct emergency operation.
  Management of Sediment-Related Risks - NEW
  Sediment-related disasters, which are caused by debris flows, slope failures and landslides, have different characteristics from water-related disasters. That is, disasters sites, timing of occurence, and hazard levels are difficult to predict accurately. This Tool explains practical approaches of identifying debris flows and landslides areas and introduces good practices of mitigation measures to minimize human loss. For example, disaster prevention maps containing hazard areas, sage refuges and evacuation routes are as essential and effective means as flood hazard maps.
  IFM as an Adaptation Tool for Climate Change: Case Studies - NEW
  This Tool introduces strategies for climate change adaption and implementation of the strategies in the context of flood management. Nine case studies are extracted from the following countries and a regional organization, namely US, UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Japan, China, South Korea, and EU. The adaptation strategies are described especially from the point of flood risk assessment. Based on the projected impacts of climate change, each country formulates their own adaption measures and designates responsible agencies for their implementation.

Applying Environmental Assessment for Flood Management (0.4 MB)


This tool provides flood management practitioners a generic approach for integrating environmental considerations into the decision-making processes in basin flood management on project as well as strategic levels. As such, it provides generic approaches for conducting Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA) at the basin flood management planning stage and Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) at the project design and implementation stage.

  Conducting Flood Loss Assessments (0.7 MB)

This tool sets out to provide for the operational level a lead-in on available concepts and methods to assess flood losses for three major purposes: the activation and facilitation of local and external help,  the formulation of recovery plans, and long-term development planning and policy reform in the realm of flood management.

         Flood Management in a Changing Climate  (0.5 MB)

This Tool is an initiator and starting point on how flood management can be an autonomous part of an adaptation strategy to climate change. Flood managers have vast experience in managing floods under current climate variability. Floods are among the most widely cited expected impacts of global warming, either with an increased frequency or with increased magnitude in particular regions. As such climate change poses an additional challenge that needs a conscious strategic reorientation of flood management practices towards applying risk management techniques and involving a far broader set of stakeholders into decision making. This will be instrumental in identifying and addressing the additional and the residual risks posed by climate change.   The Tool describes how climate variability and climate change effects on the hydro-meteorological parameters that determine the magnitude and frequency of flooding.  The Tool also provides an outlook of how respective municipal authorities, national flood planners, emergency response authorities and the public at large can take advantage by putting Integrated Flood Management into practice as part of the adaptation strategies. 

  Formulating a Basin Flood Management Plan (1.4 MB)

This tool guides the contents and basic procedure of basin flood management planning, such as national development vision/policy and enabling mechanism of planning. The objectives of basin flood management plan are to protect life and property from flood risks and enhance the capability of socio-economic development in the flood plains to realize the development vision in a basin through Integrated Flood Management (IFM).

  Organizing Community Participation for Flood Management (0.7 MB)

This tool provides general guidelines for effectively organizing community activities to ensure participation at various levels of decision-making and capacity building in flood management. Several issues related to the engagement of flood managers, NGOs, and policy makers in harmonizing community activities with other development policies and natural disaster, are also addressed to build necessary institutional frameworks to enhance community participation.

  Reservoir Operations and Managed Flows (0.5 MB)

This tool aims to provide guidance for reservoir operations and managing flows that optimize the benefits from ecosystems in the flood plains and socio-economic activities on those. It provides guidance on the issues that need to be addressed in designing and operating reservoirs to meet the requirements of various users and uses along with the ecological needs . The Tool highlights various aspects of reservoir operation and discusses possibilities how flows can be managed successfully to minimize their adverse impacts.

         Risk Sharing in Flood Management  (0.5 MB)

Flood managers have traditionally focused on structural interventions that, in the majority of cases have succeeded only in shifting impacts downstream or upstream. Meanwhile, however, the analytical tools for flood risk assessment and the risk management practices offer a far greater variety of options. The Tool introduces flood risk management based on a judicious combination of measures that address risk reduction, risk retention and risk transfer through a strategic mix of structural and non-structural measures for flood preparedness, response and recovery.  Risk reduction options also include the questions how the cost of risk reduction measures such as structural flood management options can be equitably shared in society. It attempts to provide rapid access to information on risk sharing mechanisms for flood managers and in particular those that are involved in formulating flood management strategies and policies. As such it intends to provide a conceptual “bridge” between the classically engineering focused flood management professionals and the sectors specialized in risk management, such as the insurance and re-insurance as well as capital market actors hedging against certain hydro-meteorological risks.

  The Role of Land-Use Planning in Flood Management (1.3 MB)

This Tool identifies the processes and policy principles that necessitate a linkage of land use planning in integrated flood management. It provides an overview of land use planning instruments considered applicable in the flood management context, to identify the challenges and opportunities to a closer linkage between the various sectors concerned and to provide guidance as to how those sectors can work together.

  Urban Flood Risk Management (1.4 MB)

The tool aims to bring the different aspects of urban flood risks together under the umbrella of a risk management approach that aims to explain urban flood risks as well as to show possibilities of how they can be managed successfully. This tool argues that only the combination of spatial, technical and organizational measures will lead to a more sustainable and effective management of urban flood risks.


How can YOU contribute to the development process of IFM Tools?

The Associated Programme on Flood Management (APFM) encourages flood managers and other experts engaged in flood management to participate in the enrichment of the "Flood Management Tools Series". For the purpose comments and other inputs, such as important new resource link or publication are cordially invited.  Contributions that are included in the next revision of the tool would be appropriately acknowledged. Please submit your inputs to the following e-mail address: apfm@wmo.int indicating in the ‘SubjectEline the name of the particular Tool. For easy reference while providing inputs and comments please refer to the paragraph numbers.


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