Traditional contributions in these areas have focused on flood control and management in particular and water resources management in general with strategies for disaster reduction.
Water disaster management and mitigation encompasses many diverse needs to include sustainable and equitable growth, social environment and living conditions, rural and urban needs, sustaining natural resources and environment, effective and dynamic sector management emphasizing both decentralization and centralization, stake holder decision inclusion in decision making, regulation, and service delivery and monitoring.
Between 1991 and 2000, more than 665,000 people died world wide in 2557 natural disasters, of which 90 percent were water-related. Of these water-related disasters, floods represented about 50 percent, water-borne diseases about 28 percent, and droughts 11 percent. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said the damage done by water-related disasters thwarts sustainable development and perpetuates poverty.
Climate change and increasing variability ensures water-related hazards will not abate any time soon and that disaster risk reduction will be called on more and more to improve our capacity to cope. Reducing the risk of water-related hazards means, on the one hand, developing our capacity to monitor their magnitude, duration, timing and location, and on the other, assessing and reducing our vulnerability.
The economic cost of water-related natural disasters is considerable. As more and more people live on marginal land, there is increasingly greater risk from flooding or drought. Worldwide, there is a shortage of effective disaster preparedness and mitigation methods, since risk reduction is not an integral part of water resource management, as it has mainly been viewed as a technical problem, unrelated to the factors that force people to live in risky areas. Lack of political will is also a factor. However, appropriate risk-mitigation investment, and the redirection of resources into prevention, offers significant economic benefits, as well as reduction in loss of life, improvements in welfare and social stability.
There is a link between water resources, variability and risk. Investment is needed to mitigate the risks and affect the large opportunity costs of adapting to the effects of water-induced shocks on economies. As such, water is a non-fungible resource for human existence and development. Texas with frequent flood and drought disasters and a shortage of water resources considers water issues as vitally important.
A key counter measure to solve water resource issues is sustainable utilization of water resources. In view of the coordinated arrangement of population, resources, environment and economic development, principles must be formulated to include overall planning while considering all potential development, reuse, treatment and their integrated development to provide for future needs.