In this study, geographic information system (GIS)-based hydrologic and hydraulic modeling was used to perform a flood risk assessment for Onaville, which is a fairly new, rapidly growing informal settlement that is exposed to dangerous flash-flood events. Since records of historic floods did not exist for the study area, design storms with a variety of significant average return intervals (ARIs) were derived from intensity-duration-frequency (IDF) curves and transformed into design floods via rainfall-runoff modeling in hydrologic engineering center’s hydrologic modeling system (HEC-HMS). The hydraulic modeling software hydrologic engineering center’s river analysis system (HEC-RAS) was used to perform one-dimensional, unsteady-flow simulations of the design floods in the Ravine Lan Couline, which is the major drainage channel of the area. Topographic data comprised a 12 m spatial resolution TanDEM-X digital elevation model (DEM) and a 30 cm spatial resolution DEM created with mapping drones. The flow simulations revealed that large areas of the settlement are currently exposed to flood hazard. The results of the hydrologic and hydraulic modeling were incorporated into a flood hazard map which formed the basis for flood risk management. We present a grassroots approach for preventive flood risk management on a community level, which comprises the elaboration of a neighborhood contingency plan and a flood risk awareness campaign together with representatives of the local community of Onaville.
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