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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2017-399
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
21 Nov 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).
Risk-based flood protection planning under climate change and modelling uncertainty: a pre-alpine case study
Beatrice Dittes1, Maria Kaiser2, Olga Špačková1, Wolfgang Rieger2, Markus Disse2, and Daniel Straub1 1Engineering Risk Analysis Group, Technische Universität München, München, 80333, Germany
2Chair of Hydrology and River Basin Management, Technische Universität München, München, 80333, Germany
Abstract. Planning authorities are faced with a range of questions when planning flood protection measures: is the existing protection adequate for current and future demands or should it be extended? How will flood patterns change in the future? How should the uncertainty pertaining to this influence the planning decision, e.g. for delaying planning or including a safety margin? Is it sufficient to follow a protection criterion (e.g. to protect from the 100-year flood) or should the planning be conducted in a risk-based way? How important is it for flood protection planning to accurately estimate flood frequency (changes), costs and damages? These are questions that we address for a medium-sized pre-alpine catchment in southern Germany, using a sequential Bayesian decision making framework that quantitatively addresses the full spectrum of uncertainty. We evaluate different flood protection systems considered by local agencies in a test study catchment. Despite large uncertainties in damage, cost and climate, the recommendation is robustly for the most conservative approach. This demonstrates the feasibility of making robust decisions under large uncertainty. Furthermore, by comparison to a previous study, it highlights the benefits of risk-based planning over a planning of flood protection to a prescribed return period.

Citation: Dittes, B., Kaiser, M., Špačková, O., Rieger, W., Disse, M., and Straub, D.: Risk-based flood protection planning under climate change and modelling uncertainty: a pre-alpine case study, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2017-399, in review, 2017.
Beatrice Dittes et al.
Beatrice Dittes et al.
Beatrice Dittes et al.

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Short summary
We study flood protection options in a pre-alpine catchment in southern Germany. Protection systems are evaluated probabilistically, taking into account climatic and other uncertainties as well as the possibility of future adjustments. Despite large uncertainty in damage, cost and climate, we arrive at a roust recommendation. Hence, one can make good decisions under large uncertainty. The results also show it is preferable to plan risk-based rather than protecting from a specific design flood.
We study flood protection options in a pre-alpine catchment in southern Germany. Protection...
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