Assessing time, cost and quality trade-offs in forecast-based action for floods

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Forecast-based actions are increasingly receiving attention in flood risk management. However, uncertainties and constraints in forecast skill highlight the need to carefully assess the costs and benefits of the actions in relation to the limitations of forecast information. Forecast skill decreases with increasing lead time, and therefore, an inherent trade-off between timeliness and accuracy exists. In our paper, we present a methodology to assess the potential added value of early warning early action systems (EWEAS), and we explore the decision-makers’ dilemma between acting upon limited-quality forecast information and taking less effective actions. The assessment is carried out for one- and a two-stage action systems, in which a first action that is based on a lower skill and longer lead time forecast may be followed up by a second action that is based on a short-term, higher-confidence forecast. Through an idealized case study, we demonstrate that a) that the optimal lead time to trigger action is a function of forecast quality, the local geographic conditions and the operational characteristics of the forecast-based actions and b) low-certainty, long lead time forecasts can become valuable when paired with short-term, higher quality ones in a two-stage action approach.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101252
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Volume40
Early online date27 Jul 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019

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Risk management
natural disaster
costs
cost
Costs
value added
risk management
decision maker
confidence
uncertainty
time
Uncertainty
forecast
methodology
trade-off

Keywords

  • Decision-making
  • Early warning early action system
  • Flood risk
  • Forecast-based financing
  • Relative economic value

Cite this

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title = "Assessing time, cost and quality trade-offs in forecast-based action for floods",
abstract = "Forecast-based actions are increasingly receiving attention in flood risk management. However, uncertainties and constraints in forecast skill highlight the need to carefully assess the costs and benefits of the actions in relation to the limitations of forecast information. Forecast skill decreases with increasing lead time, and therefore, an inherent trade-off between timeliness and accuracy exists. In our paper, we present a methodology to assess the potential added value of early warning early action systems (EWEAS), and we explore the decision-makers’ dilemma between acting upon limited-quality forecast information and taking less effective actions. The assessment is carried out for one- and a two-stage action systems, in which a first action that is based on a lower skill and longer lead time forecast may be followed up by a second action that is based on a short-term, higher-confidence forecast. Through an idealized case study, we demonstrate that a) that the optimal lead time to trigger action is a function of forecast quality, the local geographic conditions and the operational characteristics of the forecast-based actions and b) low-certainty, long lead time forecasts can become valuable when paired with short-term, higher quality ones in a two-stage action approach.",
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author = "Konstantinos Bischiniotis and {van den Hurk}, Bart and {Coughlan de Perez}, Erin and Ted Veldkamp and Nobre, {Gabriela Guimar{\~a}es} and Jeroen Aerts",
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Assessing time, cost and quality trade-offs in forecast-based action for floods. / Bischiniotis, Konstantinos; van den Hurk, Bart; Coughlan de Perez, Erin; Veldkamp, Ted; Nobre, Gabriela Guimarães; Aerts, Jeroen.

In: International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, Vol. 40, 101252, 01.11.2019, p. 1-13.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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