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Improving water safety and global prosperity: Preparedness, participation and return

In January of this year I visited the Mexican state of Tabasco–a state crossed by rivers and facing the Gulf of Mexico. The state’s population has doubled over the past 30 years and its economy relies heavily on oil and natural gas resources. It has its challenges as well: unemployment, poverty and a lack of resources. 

But through all this runs one challenge that impacts all the others: the increasing risk of flooding. The Mexican government created a flood control programme after severe floods in the past. But with construction under way, disaster struck again. In 2007 floodwater covered 70% of the state and affected over a million people. 

The situation in Tabasco is different from my own country, the Netherlands. But we share the pressing need to live safely with water and to reduce the risk of flooding. We are both becoming more vulnerable to water-related disasters due to the effects of climate change.

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