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Jan. 26, 2021

Mitigating floods in extreme weather

Study finds that dams reduce global flood exposure in climate change

A collaborative worldwide study led by researchers at the National Institute for Environmental Studies-Japan, the University of Tokyo, and Michigan State University has revealed for the first time the role of large dams in mitigating global flood risk under climate change.

Yadu Pokhrel, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering in the MSU College of Engineering and a co-author of the study, said the research developed a modeling framework that is the first of its kind.

Details of the new study have been published in the journal ”Nature Communications.”

“We found that the number of people exposed to historically once-in-100-year floods occurring downstream of dams could be reduced by about 20% during the 21st century. That would spare us from the massive human and economic toll created by costly natural disasters.”

Pokhrel said flood risk is projected to increase around the world, driven by climate change and increased global population living in floodplains. 

Read the full story on the College of Engineering website.

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