New study shows that Southeast Asia is more prone to flooding, and it may get worse

A new study by social enterprise Eco-Business Research that focuses on sustainability, Flood controls in Southeast Asia, was recently published. Sponsored by Grundfos, the study surveyed 417 sustainability industry leaders across Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Throughout the region, respondents agreed that there were significant changes to the weather in recent years, with the majority indicating that average temperatures have risen with monsoons becoming less predictable. More than 69 per cent of respondents also agreed that the situation was only going to get worse over the coming decade.

Climate change was frequently cited as the main cause behind the increased incidences of flooding in the Southeast Asian region, where higher-than-average temperatures are forecasted to increase sea levels, a problem for the coastal areas of the region, as they are low lying. Additionally, the higher temperatures are predicted to increase the intensity of the monsoon rainstorms.

The study looks at some of the historical factors that have contributed to the region’s vulnerability to flooding, and also examines some of the innovative solutions governments in the region have put in place in order to protect their citizens.

“It was a wake-up call to hear that the majority of people surveyed believed flooding was going to get worse and how much damage that could cause to livelihoods in the region,” Tim Hill, Research Director of Eco-Business Research, said. “While countries across Southeast Asia are at various implementation stages of their water management and flood control systems, looking ahead, there are opportunities to adopt a more coordinated approach both at a national and regional level.”

Respondents also called for greater investment in education and outreach programmes to transform the environmental habits of citizens and businesses, as they felt that there was insufficient action taken at consumer levels.

According to Okay Barutçu, the Group Senior Vice President and Regional Managing Director of Grundfos Asia Pacific Region, many different stakeholders need to be included, and need to take action together, as expertise in flood management is “patchy.”

“The urgency of the situation calls for greater collaboration between all stakeholders, including governments, corporations, communities, and citizens,” Barutçu continued. “Green urban designs, storm water management integrated into a clear ‘rivers policy’ and reuse and recycle initiatives together with intelligent pumping and treatment solutions utilising smart sensing, analysis, and control technologies is clearly the way forward.”