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Patron: Her Majesty the Queen


The Royal Scottish Society of Arts
Showcasing Scotland's Science, Technology and Innovation

4th Meeting of the 181st Session (2001-2002)

Floods - Past and Present Issues

Professor George Fleming
Department of Civil Engineering
Strathclyde University

In the Wolfson Suite, Ground Floor,
Edinburgh University Library,
George Square, Edinburgh
On Monday 11th February 2002, at 7 pm


The prospect of serious flooding in Britain is once again very much in the news. This follows a spate of serious floods in 2000 and over the last decade the impact of flooding is perceived to be widespread. Historically however, flooding has been regularly occurring and extreme flooding has many recorded events with catastrophic results. A major problem with flooding is that it occurs over a short period of time and invariably the conditions give way to better seasons. Winter gives way to Spring and the problem of flooding tends to take a lower priority than day-to-day issues such as health and education. Correspondingly flood risk management experiences an expenditure cycle as shown below.

Diagram of Risk Expenditure CycleD

Source: "Learning to Live with Rivers", ICE Presidential Commission to Review the Technical Aspects of Flood Risk Management in England and Wales, Institution of Civil Engineers, One Great George Street, Westminster, London, SW1P 3AA. http://www.icenet.org.uk/presidential.html

A major concern is the perception that global climate change is going to make flooding worse in the future and that we should do something about it. Hence, the Deputy Prime Minister's "wake-up call". This lecture reviews the historical methods of flood risk assessment and points to the future approach to flood risk management.

Professor Fleming has very kindly allowed us to make public his [an error occurred while processing this directive] slides used in this talk [an error occurred while processing this directive] (2.9Mbytes PowerPoint file).

Location of meeting

Society Business

The President, Dr Allen D C Simpson, will be in the Chair

  1. Nominations for Fellowship of the Society will be tabled.
  2. Notice of meetings on 11th March and 5th April.

Members of the Public are welcome to attend

Graham Rule, Secretary

The Royal Scottish Society of Arts is Registered Scottish Charity SC015549

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