Governance, socio-economic and geophysical indicators are indispensable measures of risk for water-related disasters leading to a better disaster risk mitigation and management for sustainable development. Water-related disaster countermeasures are weak in non-OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries, thus higher economic losses and younger fatalities are concentrated there; for example, the majority of fatalities in developing nations are 50 years old or less, in contrast to those in developed nations where the most are older than 60 years old; furthermore, economic losses of 2.8, 19.7 and 2.7% of GDP were incurred during Cyclone Sidr in Bangladesh, Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar, and Typhoon Ketsana in the Philippines, respectively. A transfer of scientific knowledge and technology from developed to developing countries is helpful in strengthening water-related disaster countermeasures to reduce economic losses and fatalities. Natural hazards correspond to geophysical features, thus the categorization of these features leads to an understanding of corresponding natural hazards which helps disaster mitigation and land-use and policy planning for future development. A combination of governance, socio-economic and geophysical water-related disaster indicators is therefore an indispensable development index.