Water Science and Technology
Ecological impairment and flooding caused by urbanization can be expressed numerically by calculating the risks throughout the watershed (floodplain) and along the main stems of the streams. The risks can be evaluated in terms of the present and/or future. This article describes the methodologies for ascertaining the risks in the Geographical Information Systems (GIS) environment. The objectives of urban flood controls and ecological preservation/restoration of urban waters are often conflicting and, in the past, the sole emphasis on flood control led to destruction of habitat and deterioration of water quality. An optimal solution to these two problems may be achieved by linking the risks to the concepts of risk communication, risk perception, and public willingness to pay for projects leading to ecological restoration and ecologically sustainable flood control. This method is appropriate because, in each case, public funds are used and the projects require approval and backing of policy makers and stakeholders. This article briefly describes a research project that attempts to resolve the conflict between the flood protection and stream ecological preservation and restoration and suggests alternative ways of expressing benefits of urban stream flood control and restoration projects.