Kosi embankment breach in Nepal: Need for a paradigm shift in responding to floods

The breach of the Kosi embankment in Nepal in August 2008 marked the failure of conventional ways of controlling floods. After discussing the physical characteristics of the Kosi River and the Kosi barrage project, this paper suggests that the high sediment content of the Kosi River implies a major risk to the proposed Kosi high dam and its ability to control floods in Bihar.