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Assessing surface water flood risk and management strategies under future climate change: an agent-based model approach

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  • Katie Jenkins
  • Swenja Surminski
  • Jim Hall
  • Florence Crick

Abstract

Flooding is the costliest natural disaster worldwide. In the UK flooding is listed as a major risk on the National Risk Register with surface water flooding the most likely cause of damage to properties. Climate change and increasing urbanisation are both projected to result in an increase in surface water flood events and their associated damages in the future. In this paper we present an Agent Based Model (ABM), applied to a London case study of surface water flood risk, designed to assess the interplay between different adaptation options; how risk reduction could be achieved by homeowners and government; and the role of flood insurance and the recently launched flood insurance pool, Flood Re, in the context of climate change. The ABM is novel in its coverage of different combinations of flood risk management options, insurance, and Flood Re, and its ability to model changing behaviour, decision making, surface water flood events, and surface water flood risk in a dynamic manner. The analysis highlights that while combined investment in property-level protection measures and sustainable urban drainage systems reduce surface water flood risk, benefits can be outweighed by continued development in high risk areas and the effects of climate change. Flood Re is beneficial in its function to provide affordable insurance, even under climate change, and is shown to have some positive effects on the housing market in the model. However, in our simulations Flood Re does face increasing pressure due to rising surface water flood risk, which highlights the importance of forward looking flood risk management interventions, that utilize insurance incentives, limit new development, and support resilience measures. Our findings are highly relevant for the ongoing regulatory and political approval process for Flood Re as well as the wider flood risk management discussion in the UK.

Suggested Citation

  • Katie Jenkins & Swenja Surminski & Jim Hall & Florence Crick, 2016. "Assessing surface water flood risk and management strategies under future climate change: an agent-based model approach," GRI Working Papers 223, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
  • Handle: RePEc:lsg:lsgwps:wp223
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Surminski, Swenja & Eldridge, Jillian, 2015. "Flood insurance in England: an assessment of the current and newly proposed insurance scheme in the context of rising flood risk," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 66256, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. 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.
    3. Brenden Jongman & Stefan Hochrainer-Stigler & Luc Feyen & Jeroen C. J. H. Aerts & Reinhard Mechler & W. J. Wouter Botzen & Laurens M. Bouwer & Georg Pflug & Rodrigo Rojas & Philip J. Ward, 2014. "Increasing stress on disaster-risk finance due to large floods," Nature Climate Change, Nature, vol. 4(4), pages 264-268, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Florence Crick & Katie Jenkins & Swenja Surminski, 2016. "Strengthening insurance partnerships in the face of climate change – insights from an agent-based model of flood insurance in the UK," GRI Working Papers 241, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    2. Jenkins, Katie & Surminski, Swenja & Hall, Jim & Crick, Florence, 2016. "Surface water flood risk and management strategies for London: an agent-based model approach," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 70116, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Sunmin Lee & Saro Lee & Moung-Jin Lee & Hyung-Sup Jung, 2018. "Spatial Assessment of Urban Flood Susceptibility Using Data Mining and Geographic Information System (GIS) Tools," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 10(3), pages 1-19, February.

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