United States-Italy Research Workshop on
HYDROMETEOROLOGY, IMPACTS, AND MANAGEMENT
Summary, Conclusions, and Recommendations
The United States and some European countries have recently experienced the occurrence and the impacts and consequences of extreme floods. A US-Italy Research Workshop was organized where a selected group of flood specialists discussed and exchanged experiences in relation to recent catastrophic flood events. The research workshop was held at Perugia, Italy. The objectives of the Workshop were: (a)To present and document the state of the art on the hydroclimatology, impacts, and management of extraordinary floods. (b) To organize and discuss potential research topics on the hydrometeorology, impacts, and management of extraordinary floods, especially those of potential collaboration between researchers in the U.S. and Italy. (c)To contrast and compare structural and non-structural approaches to floods, especially in terms of underlying preventive policies, risk and uncertainty management of catastrophic events, and mobilization of resources and institutions in case of extreme hydrologic events. (d) To disseminate the Research Workshop findings to the U.S. and European professionals and agencies interested on flood hazards and to inform the general public in both increased awareness and participation with regard to managing floods.
The referred Research Workshop was attended by 41 experts in the field of extreme floods from the United States (14), Italy (17), Spain (2), Belgium (1), United Kingdom (2), Germany (1), Greece (2), and The Netherlands (2). The workshop participants prepared written material on pre-determined subjects related to the theme of the workshop which were presented during plenary sessions of the meeting and served as the basis for discussions. Additional round table sessions in smaller groups were held to discuss the definition, importance, justification, and classification of potential research areas and topics which were felt are needed to cope with extreme floods.
Coping with extreme floods requires decision making at many levels, from the general policy of land management and urban development to the specifics of engineering design, including the implementation of technically sound warning systems, and the evaluation and implementation of social response. At the present time society is coping with extreme floods presumably using the best resources and knowledge currently available and applying the best technology that is economically and financially feasible. Nevertheless, it is imperative to improve our knowledge in order to build better decision tools and support systems which can take into account, the many complexities of the underlying physical and statistical processes involved, and the many complexities and interactions of social and institutional systems. The US-Italy Research Workshop on the Hydrometeorology, Impacts, and Management of Extreme Floods has been an effort in that direction.
The research topics which have emerged from the referred workshop have been categorized into nine research areas, namely: (A) Remote Sensing, Data, Modeling and Prediction, (B) Scales and Variability, (C) Systematization and Interaction of Structural and Non-Structural Measures, (D) Environmentally Sensitive and Flexible Approach to Design and Maintenance of Flood Control Measures, (E) Constraints Influence in Flood Protection and Vulnerability, (F) Risk Dynamics and Decision Making, (G) Education, Communication, and Knowledge Transfer, (H) Institutional and Organizational Change, and (I) Characterization of Occurrence of Extreme Floods. The list of the research topics under each category are shown bellow. Further definition of potential research topics can be found in the individual papers included in Parts I, II, III, and IV of the Workshop Proceedings.
The recommended research areas and topics resulting from the Research Workshop are:
A. Remote Sensing, Data, and Modeling and Prediction
B. Scales and Variability
C. Systematization and Interaction of Structural and Non-Structural Measures
D. Environmentally Sensitive and Flexible Approach to Design and Maintenance of Flood Control Measures
E. Constraints Influence in Flood Protection and Vulnerability
F. Risk Dynamics and Decision Making
G. Education, Communication, and Knowledge Transfer
H. Institutional and Organizational Change
I. Characterization of Occurrence of Extreme Floods