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Use of Geospatial Technology in Flood Mitigation

Dato' Ir. Hj. Ahmad Husaini Sulaiman
Director General
Department of Irrigation and Drainage , Malaysia

Flood is one of the major disasters affecting the population especially those living in high risk areas, in the flood plains and coastal areas causing extensive damage to properties and even loss of lives. Great efforts are taken by the government to mitigate the floods and ensure a safe environment for the society. Planning, execution, monitoring and assessment of flood mitigation projects based on the holistic and integrated approach of Integrated Flood Management (IFM) require knowledge of the entire river basin to ensure a more effective output and outcome. Advances in geospatial technologies (GPS, Remote sensing and GIS) has enabled the acquisition of data and analysis of the river basin for flood mitigation projects (either structural or non-structural) in a faster and more accurate manner. GIS facilitates integration of spatial and non-spatial geographical data such as rainfall and stream flows, river cross-sections and profiles and river basin characteristics. Other informations such as flood maps, infrastructures, landuse, social and economic information can be inventoried for future use. Flood maps prepared using satellite images of real flood events and information from the ground are useful for flood damage assessment, future flood mitigation planning and validation of hydraulic analysis. Flood hazard maps produced using GIS enabled hydrological, hydraulic and DEM data are effective tools for land use planning, hazard management and development control.