Articles | Volume 369
Proc. IAHS, 369, 181–187, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/piahs-369-181-2015
Proc. IAHS, 369, 181–187, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/piahs-369-181-2015

  11 Jun 2015

11 Jun 2015

Extreme hydrological events and security

Z. W. Kundzewicz1,2 and P. Matczak1,3 Z. W. Kundzewicz and P. Matczak
  • 1Institute for Agricultural and Forest Environment, Polish Academy of Sciences, Bukowska 19, 60-809 Poznań, Poland
  • 2Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Telegrafenberg 31, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
  • 3Institute of Sociology, Adam Mickiewicz University, Szamarzewskiego 89c, 60-568 Poznań, Poland

Abstract. Economic losses caused by hydrological extremes – floods and droughts – have been on the rise, worldwide. Hydrological extremes jeopardize human security and cause serious threats to human life and welfare and societal livelihood. Floods and droughts can undermine societies' security, understood as freedom from threat and the ability of societies to maintain their independent identity and their functional integrity against forces of change.

Several dimensions of security are reviewed in the context of hydrological extremes. Floods and droughts pose a burden and serious challenges to the state, responsible to sustain economic development, societal and environmental security – the maintenance of ecosystem services, on which a society depends. It is shown that reduction of risk of hydrological disasters improves human security.