Flood risk and Vulnerability mapping in arid and semi-arid areas- Phase 1

Despite the valuable progress that has been accomplished in the fields of flood disaster and its management through engineering achievements, civil and environmental studies, floods continue to be a major challenge in many parts of the world, as this is mainly attributed to the fast growth of population and urbanization expansion, exacerbated by climate change impacts.

Jordan has always been prone to flash floods due its landscapes, various slope characteristics, climatic patterns, soil natures and extreme weather events, comparable with heavy rains aggravated by the change of climate.

During the last decades, Amman, the country’s capital, has experienced serious flash floods that have damaged properties and assets and have also led to loss of human life. Therefore, it is essential to understand and assess flood risks in the city to identify flood-prone locations and to develop various means to cope with the problem through preventive and remedial measures.

Since there are several characteristics influencing flash floods, the methodology of this project consists firstly in defining the causes of flood risk attributed to the case of Amman, based on literature review. Secondly, the collection of all required and imperative data to conduct the related analyses, in order to introduce holistic approaches/solutions to minimize the negative influence of such floods and their lack of predictability.

ArcGIS “Geographical Information System” tools were used to analyze the factors that influence flash flood risk in Amman. In the study, a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) was used for conducting spatial analysis in ArcGIS using its Arc-Hydro extension tools to delineate the catchments and the drainage system of the study area. DEM was also used to produce a slope map and to define the flow accumulation in wadis (valleys) which is critical when mapping floods.