Flood response process knowledge of Lower Sava Valley communities in Slovenia

Jernej Agrež, Nadja Damij*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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This paper focuses on the learning process of the flood-endangered communities in the Lower Sava Valley in Slovenia. In past five years, the communities faced several floods, which occurred because of the rain in central and northeast parts of Slovenia. Floods differed by their severity. On the first hand, the least harming caused only higher water levels of the major rivers, which cause isolation of couple of households. On the other hand, the most harming floods caused roadblocks, flooding the entire areas and communities. Hydrological and meteorological data, describing river dynamics and rainfall was gathered from the Slovenian Environment Agency database, while data describing the severity of the flood events from the Administration for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief database. To be able to simulate and assess floods` characteristics, we combined all gathered data into the singled database with the timeline of the flood events. We used data mining, process modeling and statistical methods to build up the simulation model, to compare simulation output with the real world data and to finally evaluate community learning process. Through the past floods, communities had the opportunity to learn about flood characteristics, how to properly react and protect the endangered property. We identified emerged tacit knowledge, which made possible some communities to reduce flood risk. We conducted preliminary semi-structured interviews with people who live in the flood-endangered areas to get the insight on the perception of the floods. Further, we designed fuzzy knowledge assessment system to evaluate which of the communities demonstrated the highest learning experience. We identified influence of the community knowledge on the response process and further try to optimize learning model, with the measures, extracted from the national strategic defense documents. The improved model revealed much higher self-reliance and flood resilience of the communities, when they are provided with more systematic learning about the floods and counter flood measures. Consequently, the whole flood response process workload significantly reduced according to the higher ability of the communities to resolve flood situation with no additional external support.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-385
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Circuits, Systems and Signal Processing
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


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