Modeling and Impact Assessment Component of the India - Climate Change Impact and Adaptation of Coastal Cities Study: The Case of Kolkata

Client: WorldBank


Flood hazards are natural phenomena, but damage and losses from floods are the invariably the consequences of human interventions. Urbanisation aggravates flooding by restricting where flood waters can go, covering large parts of the ground with roofs, roads and pavements and obstructing sections of natural channels. As more people crowd into cities, so the effects intensify. As a result, even quite moderate storms produce high flows because there are more hard surfaces.

Most metropolitan areas in the developing countries ,the urban sprawl in the metro areas along large rivers and deltas creates competing demands on space for more built-up areas than for exclusive use as floodplain. Potential climate changes are likely to cause an increase in the number and intensity of flood events causing growing demand for space for rivers, creeks, and other water bodies as receptacles of flood water. Alternatively, there might be implementation of series of structural measures such as higher embankments, transportation of excess water through pumping, etc.

The focus of the study:

  • Establish a climate change related historical knowledge base for the use of city specific impact analysis, adaptation strategy formulation and raising public awareness;
  • Define and evaluate the impacts of climate change (from social, economic, and environmental viewpoints) on the basis of stylized scenarios for each city.
  • Help formulate city level strategies for implementation in the short, medium and long-term to make adaptation and coastal zone development plans more robust to climate change and increase the resiliency of natural and physical systems.

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