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Estimating changes in flood risks and benefits of non-structural adaptation strategies - a case study from Tyrol, Austria

Listed author(s):
  • Annegret H. Thieken

    ()

    (University of Potsdam)

  • Holger Cammerer

    (University of Innsbruck
    DEVK Rückversicherungs- und Beteiligungs-AG)

  • Christian Dobler

    (University of Innsbruck
    Government of Tyrol)

  • Johannes Lammel

    (alpS GmbH
    TIWAG-Tiroler Wasserkraft AG)

  • Fritz Schöberl

    (University of Innsbruck)

Registered author(s):

    Abstract Flood damage has increased significantly and is expected to rise further in many parts of the world. For assessing potential changes in flood risk, this paper presents an integrated model chain quantifying flood hazards and losses while considering climate and land use changes. In the case study region, risk estimates for the present and the near future illustrate that changes in flood risk by 2030 are relatively low compared to historic periods. While the impact of climate change on the flood hazard and risk by 2030 is slight or negligible, strong urbanisation associated with economic growth contributes to a remarkable increase in flood risk. Therefore, it is recommended to frequently consider land use scenarios and economic developments when assessing future flood risks. Further, an adapted and sustainable risk management is necessary to encounter rising flood losses, in which non-structural measures are becoming more and more important. The case study demonstrates that adaptation by non-structural measures such as stricter land use regulations or enhancement of private precaution is capable of reducing flood risk by around 30 %. Ignoring flood risks, in contrast, always leads to further increasing losses—with our assumptions by 17 %. These findings underline that private precaution and land use regulation could be taken into account as low cost adaptation strategies to global climate change in many flood prone areas. Since such measures reduce flood risk regardless of climate or land use changes, they can also be recommended as no-regret measures.

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    File URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s11027-014-9602-3
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    Article provided by Springer in its journal Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change.

    Volume (Year): 21 (2016)
    Issue (Month): 3 (March)
    Pages: 343-376

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:masfgc:v:21:y:2016:i:3:d:10.1007_s11027-014-9602-3
    DOI: 10.1007/s11027-014-9602-3
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springer.com

    Order Information: Web: http://www.springer.com/economics/journal/11027

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    1. C. Neuhold, 2013. "Identifying flood-prone landfills at different spatial scales," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 65(3), pages 2015-2030, February.
    2. Iain White & Joe Howe, 2002. "Flooding and the Role of Planning in England and Wales: A Critical Review," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(5), pages 735-745.
    3. C. Neuhold, 2013. "Identifying flood-prone landfills at different spatial scales," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 68(3), pages 1425-1440, September.
    4. Jim Hall & Paul Sayers & Richard Dawson, 2005. "National-scale Assessment of Current and Future Flood Risk in England and Wales," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 36(1), pages 147-164, September.
    5. Holger Cammerer & Annegret Thieken & Peter Verburg, 2013. "Spatio-temporal dynamics in the flood exposure due to land use changes in the Alpine Lech Valley in Tyrol (Austria)," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 68(3), pages 1243-1270, September.
    6. Reimund Schwarze & Gert G. Wagner, 2009. "Natural Hazards Insurance in Europe ? Tailored Responses to Climate Change Needed," Working Papers 2009-06, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    7. Matthias Themeßl & Andreas Gobiet & Georg Heinrich, 2012. "Empirical-statistical downscaling and error correction of regional climate models and its impact on the climate change signal," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 112(2), pages 449-468, May.
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