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A review of damage-reducing measures to manage fluvial flood risks in a changing climate

Abstract

Damage due to floods has increased during the last few decades, and further increases are expected in several regions due to climate change and growing vulnerability. To address the projected increase in flood risk, a combination of structural and non-structural flood risk mitigation measures is considered as a promising adaptation strategy. Such a combination takes into account that flood defence systems may fail, and prepares for unexpected crisis situations via land-use planning and private damage reduction, e.g. via building precautionary measures, and disaster response. However, knowledge about damage-reducing measures is scarce and often fragmented since based on case studies. For instance, it is believed that private precautionary measures, like shielding with water shutters or building fortification, are especially effective in areas with frequent flood events and low flood water levels. However, some of these measures showed a significant damage-reducing effect also during the extreme flood event in 2002 in Germany. This review analyses potentials of land-use planning and private flood precautionary measures as components of adaptation strategies for global change. Focus is on their implementation, their damage-reducing effects and their potential contribution to address projected changes in flood risk, particularly in developed countries.

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Fig. 1

Notes

  1. http://www.region2coastal.com/faqs/advisory-bfe-faq

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Acknowledgements

This research was carried out in the framework of the project ‘Climate Proof Flood Risk Management’ Theme 1 and ‘Governance of Adaptation to Climate Change’ Theme 7 of the Dutch National Research Programme ‘Knowledge for Climate’ (KfC).

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Correspondence to Heidi Kreibich.

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Kreibich, H., Bubeck, P., Van Vliet, M. et al. A review of damage-reducing measures to manage fluvial flood risks in a changing climate. Mitig Adapt Strateg Glob Change 20, 967–989 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11027-014-9629-5

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Keywords

  • Climate adaptation
  • Land-use planning
  • Damage reduction
  • Precaution
  • Risk zoning
  • Flood