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Evolutionary leap in large-scale flood risk assessment needed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Sergiy Voroguyshyn
  • Paul Bates
  • Karin de Bruijn
  • Attilio Castellarin
  • H Kreibich
  • Sally Priest
  • Kai Schroter
  • Stefano Bagli
  • G. Blöschl
  • Alessio Domeneghetti
  • B Gouldby
  • Frans Klijn
  • Rita Lammersen
  • Jeffrey Neal
  • Nina Ridder
  • Wilco Terink
  • Christophe Viavattene
  • A Viglione
  • Stefano Zanardo
  • Bruno Merz
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1266
Number of pages7
JournalWiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water
Issue number2
Early online date29 Dec 2017
DateAccepted/In press - 3 Nov 2017
DateE-pub ahead of print - 29 Dec 2017
DatePublished (current) - Mar 2018


Current approaches for assessing large‐scale flood risks contravene the fundamental principles of the flood risk system functioning because they largely ignore basic interactions and feedbacks between atmosphere, catchments, river‐floodplain systems, and socioeconomic processes. As a consequence, risk analyses are uncertain and might be biased. However, reliable risk estimates are required for prioritizing national investments in flood risk mitigation or for appraisal and management of insurance portfolios. We review several examples of process interactions and highlight their importance in shaping spatiotemporal risk patterns. We call for a fundamental redesign of the approaches used for large‐scale flood risk assessment. They need to be capable to form a basis for large‐scale flood risk management and insurance policies worldwide facing the challenge of increasing risks due to climate and global change. In particular, implementation of the European Flood Directive needs to be adjusted for the next round of flood risk mapping and development of flood risk management plans focusing on methods accounting for more process interactions in flood risk systems.

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