The traditional approach to flood control, which relied solely on structural measures, is no longer practically or economically feasible. A more integrated flood management approach was realized to be necessary to adapt to changing social, hydrological, and environmental conditions along the nation’s major waterways.
The government passed the Flood Control Law in 1997. In 2004, Asian Development Bank started to support preparation of a national flood management strategy. Hence, the Ministry of Water Resources prepared a national flood management strategy in 2005. This strategy reflects a shift from dependence on structural measures to a balanced approach using both structural and nonstructural measures. Now flood risk management is based on an analysis of flood hazard, exposure to flood hazard, and vulnerability of people and property to danger. This is followed by identification, assessment, and implementation of appropriate structural and nonstructural measures to manage or reduce flood risks to levels regarded as acceptable.
The Flood Control Law remains the centerpiece legislation supported by regulations guiding the implementation of flood management policies. Coupled with the legislations and regulations supported by the government, the River Basin Commissions are responsible in formulating plans for water resources management and flood control (flood management).
Management of land use in upper watersheds has also been added as one of the aspects of flood management which includes afforestation programs and programs to raise the awareness of the effects of inappropriate land use practices and to modify behavior in agricultural communities. Agricultural extension activities in rural areas have been instituted to explain to land users how improved practices can enhance and sustain their incomes while conserving soil fertility and soil moisture and reducing runoff and erosion.