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S. N. Jonkman
received a master’s degree in Civil Engineering at Delft University in 2001. Between 2001 and 2007 he worked for the Ministry of Transport, Public Works, and Water Management in the Netherlands. During this period, he was actively involved as an adviser in the changes that took place in the Dutch flood risk management policies. From 2002 to September 2007, he also conducted PhD research at Delft University. His dissertation was titled 'Loss of life estimation in flood risk assessment—theory and applications’. In this dissertation, new methods were proposed for the quantification of loss of life and risks of (amongst other) flooding. After the flooding of New Orleans in 2005, he assisted the reconstruction effort in an advisory role, and conducted research in the affected area. In September 2007 he became consultant at Royal Haskoning's Coast and Rivers division. He is also a part-time lecturer at the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences of Delft University of Technology.
Jongejan, R. B.; Vrijling, J. K.; Stive, M. J. F.; Jonkman, S. N.Journal: Hydrobiologia
Issue 1DOI: 10.1007/s10750-008-9363-7Published: 2008-04-04Institution(s):
Delft University of Technology
The provision of flood safety is of paramount importance in densely populated deltaic regions. The Dutch rely on flood defences to protect their lives and livelihoods from large-scale floods. The paper “Changing estuaries, changing views” (Smits et al., Hydrobiologica 565:339–355, 2006) criticizes this strategy and presents an alternative that could be summarized as a proposal to leave deltas untouched and to rely on natural sedimentation to reduce the impact of floods. It seems questionable, however, whether such a strategy will often be compatible with population pressures and efforts to stimulate economic growth. Moreover, it presupposes morphological conditions that seem highly unrealistic, not just in the Netherlands but also in many other sediment-starved coastal systems. Other than recommending countries not to implement the Dutch flood protection strategy and to leave deltas untouched, it should be recommended that solutions be tailored to local circumstances. The choice of a flood protection strategy should be based on a balanced evaluation of alternatives, including a realistic assessment of physical conditions.
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