Floods are a recurring theme in Argentina and in other regions. The consequences tend to be devastating, for the loss of lives that are generated, and then by the economic and social cost of their outcome. The "Pampa Húmeda" is one of the most productive areas of the planet, but also the most affected by the floods. Given their economic importance, material losses due to the floods may be rich in the order of hundreds of millions of dollars. This is so because this area has the distinction of being extremely flat (with very low gradients), so water runoff is very slow and any attempt to prevent flooding through works of storage and drainage, can not eliminate the risk, but in the best situation mitigate it or decrease it, but there will will always be a significant residual risk with which they must coexist.
Beyond losses in absolute terms, there are important differences in how floods affect each producer depending on the location and size of his lot, and the financial capacity of the owner. This issue refers to the concept of "vulnerability", which explains that the involvement, in this case of the producer, it is the result of the combination between the degree of exposure to the phenomenon (the amount of time or frequency with which is flooded) and flood level and the degree of sensitivity of the affected system, represented in this case by the financial capacity of the injured person to recover and begin again after the flood; and resilience, in other words, the capacity of the system to adapt ever better way to similar events in the future.
Following the application of this approach to the case of floods in the fields of the party of Junín, in the province of Buenos Aires, from a decade ago is presented. The municipality of Junín occupies 2,263 km² of the Pampeana plain, at an altitude ranging from 62 to 96 meters above the sea level. Bounded on the Northwest by General Arenales, to the Northeast with Rojas, to the East by Chacabuco, to the Southeast with Bragado, to the South with General Viamonte, with Lincoln Southwest and on the West by Leandro N. Alem. The climate is temperate. The temperature varies between 16 ° C and 24 ° C in January and 8 ° C in July. The average humidity is 75% and it rains about 900 mm. per year and has a population of approx. 85000 inhabitants. The following images show the levels of involvement of the plots that make up the party of Junín during the floods in 2001 and 2005. You can see that although there were many affected areas, not all were impacted in the same way.
The vulnerability approach presented before defines strategies more efficient for problems such as floods, since it makes it possible to act on three different areas: mitigation of exposure through structural infrastructure works (for example the Plan Maestro of the basin of the Rio Salado), the sensitivity of the system through measures such as new legislation for the use of land and early warning systems, and adaptive capacity through, for example, mechanisms of parametric insurance or State funds for compensation of losses that forsee the need for subsidies to this type of problems.
In BerecoLabs we have developed models that allow you to explore comprehensive strategies of management of territories that can reduce the vulnerability of the producers, citizens and local governments. The result is also increasing the resilience of the territories against the variability and climate change. These new approaches enable the development of new tools based on the abundance of data (Big Data) and the new algorithms, more powerful and capable of learning from the past and of the impacts of extreme events.