IWA Publishing

Comprehensive flood control involving citizens in a Japanese watershed


In July 2009, the city of Fukuoka, Japan experienced a flood disaster along the Hii River, which runs through densely populated, concrete-covered areas of the city. The drainage system was overwhelmed and the river overflowed due to heavy rainfall and rapid runoff. The event led citizens in its watershed to plan and implement comprehensive flood control. The plan aims not only to mitigate floods but also to revitalize the river environment and populated communities in urban areas. This study reports the activities led by the citizens. They organized and carried out civic forums, workshops, and fieldwork to share views as to how the flood disaster was caused, how floods in the watershed should be controlled, and how the river environment should be rehabilitated. This study illuminates how people, including the flood victims and municipal engineers, can change drastically and communicate effectively in the course of discussing and implementing the comprehensive flood control measures.

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