International Symposium on
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Integrated Flood Management
at Northwestern Black Sea Region of Turkey

Ibrahim Gurer

Department of Civil Engineering, Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey


Due to geographical location, climate, geology, and topography, in Turkey floods with 18 flood events causing 23 deaths per year, on average, are second important natural hazard after earthquakes.
Especially in recent years, a number of devastating flood events have occurred in various river basins of Turkey. In many cases, floods caused deaths, suffering and extensive damages to both public and private properties. Almost after each flood, a large proportion of the damage has been paid, in addition to losing significant revenues due to the consequences of economic disruption.
The flood events of late 1990's, with their devastating results have brought Turkey to a new approach to tackle with the reduction and control the flood damages, namely the "Integrated Flood Management" concept. It is nowadays well known that, owing to the complex nature of the Hazard Mitigation, specific measures for the flood hazards cannot be implemented independently. In this regard, it can be concluded that building a flood control structure is neither the best solution nor the only solution to a flood problem. Structural flood protection projects like river training works, bank protections may be considered as one of the basic strategies that can reduce flood damages, and in this context Integrated Flood Management including flood protection planning should be considered. Still unplanned urbanization on both banks of rivers and upper reaches of the basins has a major role in the rising cost of flood disasters.
Western Black sea region is selected as the case study area. It covers about 30 000 Km2, with four rivers and 12 towns. A series of flood events (in the region, which took place in the years of 1972, 1975, 1983, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995and 1998), the factors causing the floods, and their effects on households , are analyzed.
Within the content of Integrated Flood Management, the basic actors are elected local mayors, the local people living the flood hit area, and the central authority at Ankara. Within the framework of comprehensive flood hazard mitigation concept, referring to the former studies on Flood Inventory of Turkey, the case study from Western Black Sea region of Turkey is presented. Both structural and non-structural solutions for the sustainable and effective use of the flood prone areas are given for Western part of The Black Sea region of Turkey. Since 2000, with the loans and credits provided by World Bank, a series of flood protection structures were designed and built for the rehabilitation of the region. Besides the construction of new reservoirs, longitudinal and transverse structures for river training, flood forecasting by using the real-time data collected along the river courses, Satellite data use, and GIS and non-structural flood protection studies such as flood proofing, early warning, land use modification, building public awareness of the floods, keeping flood danger in agenda at flood zones, the change in urban planning concept to keep the settlements as far as possible from the flood plains, obligatory natural disaster (including floods) insurance, to discourage the ongoing trend to settle at flood plains in narrow valleys, higher tax for those settlements at flood prone areas, education of the young generation.

Keywords: Integrated Flood Management, Flood Disaster, Structural and Non-Structural Flood Protection, North Western Black Sea Region, Turkey