Diversification of Flood Risk Management Strategies – Necessity and Importance

  • Dries L. T. HeggerEmail author
  • Peter P. J. Driessen
  • Marloes H. N. Bakker


Diversification of Flood Risk Management Strategies (FRMSs) is debated both in research and practice. A comparative analysis and evaluation of diversification of FRMSs in Belgium, England, France, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden showed large inter-country differences in their approaches to diversification. In the Netherlands, Poland, France and Belgium, we see a desire to create a back-up layer of contingency. England has been diversified for 65 years, while Sweden is currently diversifying due to climate change concerns. In most countries the practical on the ground implementation of diversified strategies is lagging behind intentions as laid down in discussions and policy plans. Main drivers for diversification are: policy entrepreneurs; bottom-up initiatives by local stakeholders; a broader discursive shift towards sustainability and resilience; the presence of enforceable rules and regulations; the availability of financial resources; technical improvements; broader shifts ‘from government to governance’; and Europeanisation. Main barriers for diversification are: a lack of resources and path dependency. Floods as trigger events have been found to contribute both to stability and change, but under different circumstances. To enhance societal resilience to flooding, diversification of flood risk management strategies (FRMSs) is both necessary and important. However, each strategy must be effective in its own right and needs sufficient investment to make its implementation sensible.


Flood risk governance Flood risk management strategies Diversification Belgium England France The Netherlands Poland Sweden Flood resilience 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dries L. T. Hegger
    • 1
    Email author
  • Peter P. J. Driessen
    • 1
  • Marloes H. N. Bakker
    • 1
  1. 1.Environmental Governance, Copernicus Institute of Sustainable DevelopmentUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands

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