Measures to reduce damage from floods in Bangkok | Bangkok Post: learning

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Measures to reduce damage from floods in Bangkok

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Possible economic damage due to climate change and flooding in the future was the subject of an important report issued last week. 

Bangkok flood damage

The report focuses on risks in three of Southeast Asia's (ASEAN's) largest cities: Bangkok, Manila and Hom Chi Min City.

The title of the report is Climate risks and adaptation in Asian coastal megacities : a synthesis report (Read report).

This is part of a larger article which can be read here.

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Three cities urged to plan ahead by Achara Ashayagachat

...Asia's policymakers need to take serious and concrete steps to integrate climate-risk factors into the planning of their megacities or risk losing their economic edge.

The warning comes in a report titled "Climate Risks and Adaptation in Asian Coastal Megacities," the first systematic study of its kind, launched last week in collaboration with the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA).

...the study of three cities - Bangkok, Manila, and Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) - shows clearly how real the problem could be as soon as 30 years from now if nothing is done today to address climate-change problems...

Each of the cities has a registered and unregistered population close to or greater than 10 million. Each is a driver of national or regional economic growth and all depend on the capacity of local hydrological systems such as rivers and streams, watersheds, and wetlands to provide services critical to the lifelines of these cities and their residents.

Key findings from the 120-page report include:

1. All three coastal megacities are likely to witness increases in temperature and precipitation linked with climate change and variability.

2. By 2050, there will be an increase in flood-prone areas due to climate change in all three cities and hence the increase in the number of people exposed to the flooding.  

3. Costs of damage are likely to be substantial and can range from 2-6% of regional GDP.

4. Damage to buildings is an important component of flood-related costs.

5. Impact on the poor and vulnerable will be substantial, but even better-off communities will be affected by flooding.

6. Land subsidence is a major problem and can account for a greater share of the damage cost from flooding compared to climate-related factors.

Since it is likely that extreme events will be more intense, the planning for these events will have to be strengthened. 

This means a 'package' of measures is needed: early-warning systems, upstream watershed management to enhance water infiltration and flood retention, downstream protective dikes, higher pumping capacity, dredging and clearing of canals and drains, increasing drainage system capacity, and measures to counter coastal erosion and storm surges are needed," said the expert.

Elaborating damage costs for each city, the report says that for Bangkok, the increased costs associated with climate change (in a high-emission scenario) from a once-in-30-year flood total 49 billion baht, or approximately 2% of gross regional domestic product. These are the additional costs associated with climate change. The actual costs of a once-in-30-year flood, including costs resulting from both climate change and land subsidence are close to $4.6 billion in 2050. 

(Source: Bangkok Post, Three cities urged to plan ahead, 1/11/2010, Achara Ashayagachat, link)

megacities - very large cities, with many people living in them and also the economic center and driving force in the economy (See Wikipedia)
climate-change - long-term change in weather patterns which is currently "global warming" accompanied by flooding and droughts with a negative economic impact on world economies (See Wikipedia)
adapt (verb) - to change something to fit a situation, make suitable for a new situation ทำให้เหมาะ, ทำให้กลมกลืน, ทำให้เข้ากับ, ปรับ
(noun) - a change to make something fit and be more suitable
synthesis - a combination or bringing together of different things (information, ideas, styles)
urged - advised someone very strongly about what action should be taken วิงวอน
concrete - based on facts, not on ideas or guesses
integrate - to combine things of different types in one effective system, bring together and combine (so it all works together as a whole) รวมเข้าด้วยกัน
climate - the general weather conditions usually found in a particular place สภาพอากาศ
risk - the possibility that something dangerous or unpleasant might happen ความเสี่ยง
factors - one of the things that effects a situation or event ปัจจัย
losing their edge - becoming less effective, less able to get the job done and achieve goals
launched - started เริ่มต้นดำเนินการ
collaboration - when people work together to achieve a goal
address - to try to deal with and solve a problem จัดการปัญหา

registered - officially recorded (and given permission to be somewhere or do something)
population - all the people living in a country or a part of a country
driver - causer, thing causing something else to happen
X drives Y -
X causes Y
national - within a country
economic growth - the gradual increase in income of a whole economy (recession means a fall into recession)
regional economic growth - increase in income of a whole region such as ASEAN
capacity - the ability to do something, the greatest amount of work that can be done ความสามารถในการทำงาน, ความสามารถ (ความจุ) ในการจัดการ
local - within one country
hydrology - the study of the movement, distribution, and quality of water over the earth, study useful for getting water for humans to use (water supply) (See Wikipedia)
hydrological (adjective) - related to water and water supplies
stream - a small narrow river
watershed - a forest area with streams and rivers that collects water that can be used as a regional water supply (See Wikipedia on drainage basin) บ่อพักน้ำ  แหล่งเก็บน้ำ
provide - to give someone something that they want or need
critical - extremely important because a future situation will be affected by it สำคัญยิ่ง
lifelines - the basic services and things needed to continue the life of something (without these things it would die)
residents - people who live in an area ผู้อยู่อาศัย

findings - the results or conclusions of an investigation or research
witness - to see something happen เห็นเหตุการณ์
precipitation - includes: rain, snow, hail and sleet; water vapor in the air or atmosphere forming into liquid or solid form and then falling to the ground (See Wikipedia)
linked - connected เชื่อมโยง
variability - changeability, how much something changes over time ความเปลี่ยนเเปลง, การเปลี่ยนแปร,  ความผันแปร
prone - a tendency for something to happen, happens a lot more often than usual or than it does to other people (example: prone to accidents, prone to losing her temper)
flood-prone - a tendency for an area to have floods (happens often, more than other places)
exposed - not protected from something ได้รับ ได้สัมผัส (แดด หรือสารพิษ เป็นต้น)
exposed - openly affected by and not protected from ได้รับ ในที่นี้หมายถึง สูดควันบุหรี่
substantial - in a large amount or degree
range - ผันแปรภายในขอบเขตหนึ่ง, เปลี่ยนแปลงในช่วงหนึ่ง
component - a part which combines with other parts to form something bigger ส่วนประกอบ,ส่วนเสริม
vulnerable - easily damaged or harmed ซึ่งถูกทำลายได้ง่าย
better-off - richer, have more money

subside (verb) - to sink to a lower level; to go back; to recede subside – ลดลง
land subsidence (noun) - the gradual sinking of land to a lower level
share - one part of some larger whole
account for a greater share of the damage cost - these things caused damage that cost more to repair than other things
extreme - much more severe or serious than usual ที่ร้ายแรงมาก, ที่รุนแรงที่สุด
intense - lots of activity,  a large amount of activity in a small amount of time or small space เข้มข้น
measures - actions that are intended to achieve or deal with something มาตราการ
early-warning systems - a computer system or machine that warns people when there is going to be some problem in the future (tsunami, flood, earthquake)
upstream - at an early stage in the process of producing a product for sale (early in the supply chain)
enhance - strengthen, improve and increase ขยาย เพิ่ม
infiltration - slowly going into something and becoming part of it (example: infiltration of water into the soil) การแทรกซึม, สิ่งที่แทรกซึมเข้าไป
retain (verb) - to keep, continue to have, or to store something เก็บไว้, สงวนไว้
retention (noun) - the act of keeping or storing something, or when something stays and does not go away, when water does not drain away (examples: water retention of the soil, the student's retention of what they learned) การเก็บ, การเก็บรักษา
downstream - at an late stage in the process of producing a product for sale (late in the supply chain)
dike – a wall built to prevent the sea or a river from covering an area, or a channel dug to take water away from an area เขื่อนกั้นน้ำ
pump - move water or a liquid into or out of a place with a machine called a "pump" สูบ
pump out -
move water out of a place with a pump การสูบไล่
pumping capacity - the amount of water that can be pumped out of a place (if water can be removed quickly from a place, floods are less likely)
dredge – to remove unwanted things from the bottom of a river, lake, etc. using a sucking or other device ขุดลอก
drainage - the system of water or waste liquids flowing away from somewhere into the ground or down pipes การระบายน้ำ
counter - to take action to oppose or stop something ต่อต้าน
erosion - การกร่อนของดิน
surges - a sudden fast movement or increase in something เพิ่มขึ้นอย่างรวดเร็ว

elaborate - provide more details about some idea, description or story ทำด้วยความละเอียด
emission - release into the air and atmosphere of a gas or radiation
scenario - a possible situation in the future, the way a situation could develop in the future
GDP, Gross Domestic product -
a measure of economic activity in a country, the value of the country's output of goods and services. GDP is defined roughly as: GDP = Household Consumption + Business Investment + Change in Inventories  + (Government Spending - Taxes)  + (Exports - Imports) (See Economist Glossary)
gross regional domestic product - GDP for ASEAN as a whole, including all countries in ASEAN
domestic - within the country ในประเทศ
actual - real; existing in fact จริง

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