Addressing flooding in the city of Surat beyond its boundaries


This paper describes the flood risks faced by Surat, one of India’s most successful and also most flood-prone cities. The city is located on the Tapi River and faces flood risks not only from heavy precipitation in and around the city but also from heavy precipitation upstream and from high tides downstream. Reducing the risks from upstream depends on better water management in a water catchment area and dam reservoir located far outside the city authority’s jurisdiction and in another state. The paper also reviews measures being taken to reduce flood risks – and how climate change is likely to affect such risks. It suggests that part of the city’s response needs to be a greater ability to live with floods, while minimizing the costs these usually bring in terms of loss of life, damage to homes and disruption to businesses.