Coastal and river flood risk analyses for guiding economically optimal flood adaptation policies: A country-scale study for Mexico

Toon Haer*, W. J.Wouter Botzen, Vincent Van Roomen, Harry Connor, Jorge Zavala-Hidalgo, Dirk M. Eilander, Philip J. Ward

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

50 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Many countries around the world face increasing impacts from flooding due to socio-economic development in flood-prone areas, which may be enhanced in intensity and frequency as a result of climate change. With increasing flood risk, it is becoming more important to be able to assess the costs and benefits of adaptation strategies. To guide the design of such strategies, policy makers need tools to prioritize where adaptation is needed and how much adaptation funds are required. In this country-scale study, we show how flood risk analyses can be used in cost–benefit analyses to prioritize investments in flood adaptation strategies in Mexico under future climate scenarios. Moreover, given the often limited availability of detailed local data for such analyses, we show how state-of-the-art global data and flood risk assessment models can be applied for a detailed assessment of optimal flood-protection strategies. Our results show that especially states along the Gulf of Mexico have considerable economic benefits from investments in adaptation that limit risks from both river and coastal floods, and that increased flood-protection standards are economically beneficial for many Mexican states. We discuss the sensitivity of our results to modelling uncertainties, the transferability of our modelling approach and policy implications. This article is part of the theme issue ‘Advances in risk assessment for climate change adaptation policy’.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20170329
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Volume376
Issue number2121
Early online date30 Apr 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2018

Funding

Authors’ contributions. T.H. and W.J.W.B. conceived and coordinated the study. T.H., W.J.W.B., V.R. and H.C. designed the methodological framework. T.H., V.R., H.C. and P.J.W. carried out the modelling. D.M.E. designed the coastal inundation model and produced the coastal hazard maps. J.Z.H. contributed with local expert knowledge. All authors were involved in drafting the manuscript. All authors gave their final approval for publication. Competing interests. We have no competing interests. Funding. The authors acknowledge the financial support from the United Nations Development Programme (México) and the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change (grant IC-2017-068), as part of Mexico’s Sixth National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. P.J.W. received funding from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) in the form of a VIDI grant (grant no. 016.161.324). T.H. received funding from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) in the form of a VICI grant (016140067). This research was partly funded by the Zurich Flood Resilience Program. Acknowledgements. The authors thank Francisco Estrada for providing input for the analysis, Hans de Moel for assisting with the exposure estimates, and Paul Bates and one anonymous reviewer for useful comments that helped improve this manuscript.

FundersFunder number
Mexico’s Sixth National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
National Institute of Ecology and Climate ChangeIC-2017-068
Human Frontier Science Program
United Nations
Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
Department of Energy and Climate Change
United Nations Development Programme
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek016140067, 016.161.324
Korea Health Industry Development Institute

    Keywords

    • Adaptation
    • Climate change
    • Cost–benefit analysis
    • Flood risk
    • Policy decisions

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of 'Coastal and river flood risk analyses for guiding economically optimal flood adaptation policies: A country-scale study for Mexico'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this