Increasing intensity and frequency of rainfall coupled with gradual retreating of glaciers due to climate change in Himalayan region likely to increase the risk of floods. A better understanding of risk zones which are vulnerable to flood disasters can be evolved from the detailed studies on slope, geomorphology and land use/ land cover pattern. Information of these parameters is an important input for the identification of vulnerable areas. Flood risk maps provide useful information about places that may be at risk from flooding. It offers a cost-effective solution for planning, management and mitigation strategies in risky areas. Traditional methods of flood risk mapping are based on ground surveys and aerial observations, but when the phenomenon is widespread, such methods are time consuming and expensive. The possible combination of DEM and other maps of area using an overlay operation method within the Geographical Information System (GIS) platform can lead to derivation and the understanding of spatial association between various parameters which could be used to predict flood risk zones. The study area i.e. Satluj River Basin has been broadly divided into five risk zones viz., very low, low, moderate, high and very high which helped to differentiate between areas that are at risk of different intensities of flood. The very high flood risk zone covers only 3.25 % of total study area, while the very low risk zone covers 13.63 %. The area falls within the very high and high risk constitutes 9.52 % of total basin area. Domain of moderate risk covers an area of 30.66 %. But the maximum area of river basin is constituted by low risk zone i.e. 46.19 %. Identification of such zones will help in timely adopting of mitigation and adaptation measures. Preparation of flood risk zoning maps also helps in regulating indiscriminate and unplanned land use practices in risky areas.
International Letters of Natural Sciences (Volume 40)
S. Kumar and Santosh, "Flood Risk Zoning of Satluj River Basin, Himachal Pradesh, India", International Letters of Natural Sciences, Vol. 40, pp. 6-15, 2015