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PhD-Project P7: Adaptation to flood risk - from quantification to prediction of adaptive behaviour of flood-prone residents

Timescale: Oct.2018 – Sept.2021

Supervisors:

Prof. Dr. Annegret Thieken, University of Potsdam

Prof. Dr. Jeroen Aerts, VU Amsterdam

Dr. Philip Bubeck, University of Potsdam

Background

Flood risk is changing over time due to climate change, changing exposure/urbanisation and adaptation of risk management. The latter comprises prevention, retention, protection and preparedness measures of the water authorities and civil protection as well as property-level mitigation measures and preparedness of flood-prone residents. In current risk assessment models, property-level mitigation measures and preparedness and their risk reduction effects are included. However, when it comes to the design of adaptation scenarios, only rough assumptions on the share of residents who implement such measures are made (see e.g. Thieken et al. 2016). The aim of this PhD-project is to better incorporate the behaviour of residents in flood risk models in order to allow for a better prediction of adaptive behaviour in different flood-prone regions. Furthermore, it is aimed to integrate this work in a scenario analysis of future flood risk considering different adaptation options.

Objectives and Methods

The aim of this PhD-project is to better incorporate the behaviour of residents in flood risk models in order to allow for a better prediction of adaptive behaviour in different flood-prone regions. Furthermore, it is aimed to integrate this model component in a scenario analysis of future flood risk considering different adaptation options.

The model development will be based on survey data among residents that experienced damaging flood events in Germany between 2002 and 2016. The applicability of agent-based modelling will be tested.

Flood hazard information based on different climate and land use scenarios in a test region along the river Lech in Austria are also available as case study.

Lisa Berghäuser is based at the research team "Geography and Risk Research" of the University of Potsdam and will be co-supervised by the Institute of Environmental Studies (IVM) at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands.