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. 2012 Mar;41(2):180-92.
doi: 10.1007/s13280-011-0193-x. Epub 2011 Oct 18.

Assessment of the Netherlands' Flood Risk Management Policy Under Global Change

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Free PMC article

Assessment of the Netherlands' Flood Risk Management Policy Under Global Change

Frans Klijn et al. Ambio. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Climate change and sea level rise urge low-lying countries to draft adaption policies. In this context, we assessed whether, to what extent and when the Netherlands' current flood risk management policy may require a revision. By applying scenarios on climate change and socio-economic development and performing flood simulations, we established the past and future changes in flood probabilities, exposure and consequences until about 2050. We also questioned whether the present policy may be extended much longer, applying the concept of 'policy tipping points'. Climate change was found to cause a significant increase of flood risk, but less than economic development does. We also established that the current flood risk management policy in the Netherlands can be continued for centuries when the sea level rise rate does not exceed 1.5 m per century. However, we also conclude that the present policy may not be the most attractive strategy, as it has some obvious flaws.

Figures

Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Discharge regime of the Rhine River at Lobith (a) and the Meuse River at Borgharen (b) in 2100 in the various KNMI scenarios in comparison to the current regime (Van Deursen 2006)
Fig. 2
Fig. 2
Difference in exposure in terms of flooded area and water depth resulting from a breach at Ter Heijde (indicated with an arrow) during a 1:10 000 storm surge level with present sea level (a) and with a sea level that is 1.3 m higher (b)
Fig. 3
Fig. 3
Difference in exposure in terms of flooded area and water depth resulting from a breach at Katwijk (indicated with an arrow) during a 1:10 000 storm surge level with present sea level (a) and with a sea level that is 1.3 m higher (b)
Fig. 4
Fig. 4
Land use in the present situation (a) and possible land use in 2050 in scenario Transatlantic Market (b; after Kuiper and Bouwman, 2009)
Fig. 5
Fig. 5
Indicative change of fatality risk (mean number of victims per year) between present and ‘system in order’ (about 2020) and increase of fatality risk in two socio-economic (demographic) scenarios
Fig. 6
Fig. 6
Geographic distribution of fatality risk over the Netherlands, as a function of flood probability and consequence, in the present situation (about 2009; a) and the future situation (about 2050) assuming socio-economic scenario Transatlantic Market and current policy (b)
Fig. 7
Fig. 7
Indicative change of the economic damage risk (mean yearly damage in million Euros) and the influence of two different economic growth scenarios on economic damage risk, distinguishing between value increase and new development
Fig. 8
Fig. 8
Geographic distribution of economic risk over the Netherlands, as a function of flood probability and consequence, in the present situation (about 2009; a) and in the future situation (about 2050) assuming socio-economic scenario Transatlantic Market and current policy (b)

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