Flood Resilience Capacity of Coastal Ecosystem: Violation of CRZ Notification

By: Prakash Nelliyat
Coastal zones are facing multiple anthropogenic challenges, including the encroachment of water bodies, which hamper their flood resilience capacity. The recent floods in the coastal cities of Mumbai, Chennai and Kochi are examples. Even though India put in place the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification in 1991, its enforcement is a challenge. The recent Supreme Court order for the demolition of four high rise luxury apartment complexes in Kochi, which violated the CRZ Notifications, is an exception.
Disaster Education

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 2013), warming of the climate system is unequivocal and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. During this period, the atmosphere and oceans have warmed, amounts of snow and ice have diminished, sea level has risen and concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased. Water is an integral component of climate change and the primary medium through which climate change impacts manifest.

Due to climate change, the water cycle is expected to undergo significant shift. A warmer climate causes more water to evaporate from both land and oceans; in turn, a warmer atmosphere can hold more water, roughly 4 per cent more water for every 1ºF rise in temperature (Union of Concerned Scientists 2010). These changes are expected to lead to negative consequences, with increased precipitation and runoff (flooding) in certain areas and less precipitation and longer and more severe scarcity of water (droughts) in others. Hence, wet areas are expected to become wetter and dry areas drier. It influences almost all aspects of the economy including drinking water, sanitation, health, food production, energy generation, industrial manufacturing and environmental sustainability.

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