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By 2050, Mumbai will see 25% increase in flash flood intensity, says study

Senior partner of McKinsey India, Dr Shirish Sankhe, presented the findings of the study in a conference titled ‘Climate Crisis: Action for Tropical Coastal Cities’, organised in the city by public policy think tank Mumbai First.

Written by Sanjana Bhalerao | Mumbai |
Updated: February 28, 2020 1:40:05 pm
Mumbai city news, mumbai floods, Mumbai flash floods, Mumbai floods McKindsey India, indian express news McKinsey had released its global report in January based on which McKinsey India did its own analysis, building upon it. It modelled a 40 year flash flood event to assess the impact on Mumbai city and its suburbs. (Representational image)

By 2050, Mumbai will see a 25 per cent increase in the intensity of flash floods and a 0.5 metre rise in sea level, which will affect two to three million people living within 1 km of the coastline, according to a study by McKinsey India.

Senior partner of McKinsey India, Dr Shirish Sankhe, presented the findings of the study in a conference titled ‘Climate Crisis: Action for Tropical Coastal Cities’, organised in the city by public policy think tank Mumbai First.

Mumbai city news, mumbai floods, Mumbai flash floods, Mumbai floods McKindsey India, indian express news Mumbai’s past, present, future? Maps of the city and the sea in 1700, 2019 and 2050 (projected)

Sankhe, who compared the condition of coastal cities including Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam, Florida and Mumbai, said: “We expect that by 2050 in Mumbai, two to three million people living within 1km of coastline will be affected by 0.5 metre rise in sea level, a 1.5 times increase in probability of 100 kmph winds and a 25 per cent increase in flash floods intensity. Right now, average flood depth is 0.46m, which by 2050, will become 0.8m. Flooded area over 0.05m is 46 per cent right now, which will go up to 60 per cent by 2050.” Sankhe advised policy makers to start incorporating climate risk in decision making.

McKinsey had released its global report in January based on which McKinsey India did its own analysis, building upon it. It modelled a 40 year flash flood event to assess the impact on Mumbai city and its suburbs. Municipal Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi agreed that quantification of climate risk has been absent from the decision making. In a response to a question about whether the ‘climate risk’ quantification was considered for the ambitious multi-crore Coastal Road project, Pardeshi said, “…the way we can factor in what is stormwater or what is rainfall parameter, we cannot do the same in the climate change risk in any project. For example, we factor in deforestation. We need to work on the climate risk quantification as well.”

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Explained: How climate change could impact Mumbai by 2050

Pardeshi called activists and public interest litigations a hindrance in development.

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