Global databaseThe researchers mapped levees in over 150 deltas, finding more than 10,000 levees.
Levees can give a false sense of security, which actually increases the risk of flooding, we saw during hurricane Katrina,says Jaap Nienhuis , researcher at Utrecht University and lead author of the study.
Data on these deltas and levees is important for, among other things, proper flood risk assessment, especially taking into consideration future sea level rise.
The database of major deltas we have now created is the most comprehensive one yet.
Until now, deltas and their levees have been difficult to map globally, which has also made calculating flood risks difficult. This is because the locations and quality of levees worldwide are recorded in different ways; many historical levees, for example, are only recorded on paper.
Many national data are also not publicly available, mainly for safety reasons,Nienhuis explains.
The database of major deltas we have now created is the most comprehensive yet, and can be used by both researchers and policymakers to better assess flood risk.
Check out the database