Guayaquil invests in flood resilience and climate adaptation

Published: 12 April 2018

Guayaquil, the largest city of Ecuador, is among the most vulnerable coastal delta-cities in the world and prone to urban flooding by intensive rainfall and high sea levels. Together with the municipality of Guayaquil Deltares is leading a consortium that will improve the cities resilience to urban flooding resulting in an adaptation strategy for future climate change.

The main output will be an investment strategy for flood risk adaptation for the Febres Cordero neighbourhood, which has about 400.000 inhabitants.

Similar to Dutch coastal cities

On Wednesday 4th of April a meeting was held between Deltares, Mayor Nebot of Guayaquil and the Dutch ambassador to exchange perspectives related to the cooperation. Guayaquil being a delta city bordered by rivers and estuaries, with almost 3 million inhabitants, finds many challenges similar to the ones experienced by the Dutch coastal cities. Due to its low altitude, the delta city of Guayaquil is very vulnerable to urban flooding as a result of concurrence of high precipitation rates and high tide.

Meeting with the municipality of Guayaquil. From left to right: Mónica Menéndez (Subdirector International Cooperation), Juan Ramírez (director Risk Department), Jaime Nebot (Mayor of Guayaquil), Wiebe de Boer (Dutch Ambassador), Egbert Spaans (Honorary Consul for the Netherlands in Guayaquil) and Otto de Keizer (project manager, Deltares)

Integrated approach based on CRIDA (Collaborative Risk Informed Decision Analysis)

Project activities include a bottom-up vulnerability assessment, the identification and evaluation of potential actions, the development of an adaptation strategy as well as an analysis for opportunities for upscaling towards other neighbourhoods and delta cities. The participative planning approach will be based on CRIDA (Collaborative Risk Informed Decision Analysis), a methodology which has been developed with main contributions from Deltares and the US Army Corps of Engineers and is based on the concepts of decision scaling and adaptation pathways. The Guayaquil Partners for Water project will be one of the first applications of this integrated approach.

CRIDA steps


Project partners include Rebel Group and De Urbanisten from the Netherlands, the technical university of Guayaquil, ESPOL, as well as the International Union for Conservation of Nature, IUCN. Total project funding is close to six hundred thousand Euros, of which 40% will be financed by the Municipality of Guayaquil and 60% by the Dutch Partners for Water 2016-2021 Program.