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Contains terms and definitions used in the reference book, the project and the structure of the Ontology.

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Ecological footprint

A measure which compares human demands on nature with the biosphere's ability to regenerate resources and provide services.


The scientific study of interactions among organisms and their environment.


A community of living organisms (plants, animals and microbes) in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment (things like air, water and mineral soil), interacting as a system.


The degree to which a measure causes risk to be reduced as expected or desired. In general the effectiveness of flood risk management as a whole is increased by adopting a portfolio approach, where the advantages of one option compensate for the disadvantages of another to minimize risk and maximize opportunities.


The degree to which goals are achieved with the minimum of resources such as time, effort, money or environmental capital. In general efficiency management seeks to develop measures that are synergistic, such that the sum effect is greater than the individual parts. In more specific terms, resources are said to be used inefficiently when it would be possible, by using them differently, to make at least one person or community better off without making any other person or community off. Conversely, resources are used efficiently when it is impossible, by using them differently, to make any one person or community better off without making at least one other person or community worse off.


Wastewater or other liquid, partially or completely treated, or in its natural state, flowing out of a pipe, or treatment plant.


Pertaining to the sense of gaining the knowledge and decision making authority.


The context of water in the atmosphere, on the land surface and below ground, and in the oceans.


Detachment and movement of soil or sedimentary deposits by the flow of water, such as over the ground surface or in a pipe or channel.

Event (rainfall)

Single occurrence of a rainfall period before and after which there is a sufficient dry period to define its effect on the sewer system.

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